Decreased deep sleep may signal Alzheimer’s disease: Study

Older people who get less deep sleep have higher levels of the brain protein tau, a sign of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study. Slow-wave sleep is the deep sleep people need to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed, said researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US.

“Measuring how people sleep may be a noninvasive way to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before or just as people begin to develop problems with memory and thinking,” Lucey said. The brain changes that lead to Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects an estimated 5.7 million Americans, start slowly and silently.

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