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Posts Tagged ‘too much sleep and dementia’

sleepyThe UK’s Daily Mail (8/13) reports that, according to a study published in the Sept. issue of the European Journal of Neurology, elderly people “who sleep for more than eight hours a day are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.” Moreover, “the danger affects both those who enjoy regular lie-ins in the morning and those who take naps in the afternoon.” For the study, researchers from Spain’s University Hospital of Madrid looked at “3,286 men and women aged 65 or over,” each of whom “was asked about their health and lifestyle, such as how many hours of sleep they averaged over a 24-hour period, including afternoon naps.” After following participants “for more than three years, during which 140 went on to develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia,” the investigators found that “those who averaged more than eight or nine hours of sleep a day were twice as likely to have developed dementia.”

The UK’s Daily Telegraph (8/12, Hagan) reported that the reason for the study’s findings remain “unclear, but researchers believe excessive sleep could be an early sign of” dementia. It is “also possible that staying in bed is a sign of depression, a known risk factor for dementia in the elderly.” The study authors “are urging doctors to be on the lookout for long sleep as a warning that a patient is at risk.”

¬†According to the New York Daily News (8/13, Hazlett), Dr. Susanne Sorenson, of the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society, called for “more research…to investigate the results of the study.” Dr. Sorenson stated, “There is no apparent physiological link, and it is unlikely that sleeping more than normal is a direct risk factor for dementia; it may simply be an early sign of a yet undiagnosed condition.”

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