TUESDAY, Sept. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Feeling drowsy during the day might mean you have an increased risk for Alzheimer's, new research suggests.
The long-term study included 123 adults with an average age of 60 when the study began. The findings showed that those who were very sleepy during the day had a nearly threefold increased risk of developing brain deposits of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The findings add to growing evidence that lack of sleep may play a role in Alzheimer's, and that getting enough sleep may be one way to reduce the risk of the memory-robbing disease, according to the researchers.
"Factors like diet, exercise and cognitive activity have been widely recognized as important potential targets for Alzheimer's disease prevention, but sleep hasn't quite risen to that status -- although that may well be changing," said study leader Adam Spira. He's an associate professor in the department of mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.
"If disturbed sleep contributes to Alzheimer's disease, we may be able to treat patients with sleep issues to avoid these negative outcomes," he added in a Hopkins news release.