Have trouble sleeping at night? This troubling news may make it even harder. A new study suggests there may be a link between poor sleep habits and the development in Alzheimer's later in life.
Fox News reports that researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found higher concentrations of amyloid plaque in the brains of study participants who woke frequently in the night.
Amyloid plaque is a type of protein that is often found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, and experts say that 1 in 85 people will be affected with the disease by 2050.
According to Yo-El Ju, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, "more study is needed" to determine whether lack of sleep causes Alzheimer's, or if it is just one factor. Dr. Ju says sleep should be a priority, no matter your family history of Alzheimer's. "We don't value sleep as much as we should. Sleep is a very important function that allows the brain to rest," Dr. Ju advises.
In other Alzheimer's news, Pfizer made headlines this week when they claimed their Alzheimer's drug bapineuzumab is the industry's "best chance" for finding a cure. According to Fox News, "Patients in one mid-stage trial had an almost 25 percent lower accumulation in the brain of amyloid plaques...than those receiving placebo injections."