According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Dementia is a brain disorder that affects communication and performance of daily activities and Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that specifically affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language.
Now experts have revealed that sleeping for more than nine hours a night might be an early warning sign that you have Dementia or the Alzheimer’s disease. According to Scientists, people who consistently spend this long in bed are twice as likely to develop dementia over the next decade.
A change in sleep patterns is a red flag for Alzheimer’s as it shows the brain, which controls wakefulness, has suffered damage.
Researchers also found those who slept nine hours or longer also had smaller brain volumes, took longer to process information and showed signs of memory loss. Crucially, an inability to get out of bed is believed to be a symptom rather than a cause of the brain changes that lead to Alzheimer’s.
It means older people cannot ward off the condition by setting their alarm clock earlier.
But the study of more than 2,400 people, who were followed up for 10 years, provides a new insight into dementia.
Lead author Dr. Matthew Pase, from Boston University Medical Center, said: ‘Self-reported sleep duration may be a useful clinical tool to help predict persons at risk of progressing to clinical dementia within 10 years.
This study comes the same week after research suggest rambling, long-winded speech could be a warning sign for Alzheimer’s.
The latest research looked at participants with an average age of 72, enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study, a major US investigation into heart disease risk factors.
The participants were asked how long they typically slept each night and followed up over a decade, with 234 cases of dementia recorded over the follow-up period.
Sleeping for more than nine hours more than doubled the risk of both all types of dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s.
Participants without a high school degree who slept for more than nine hours increased their risk six-fold, suggesting that education may protect against the condition.
Meanwhile, previous studies have shown people with early dementia also suffer from interrupted sleep, thought to be a similar sign of neurodegeneration. But sleep can also ward off dementia, with too little suggested by some experts to be a risk factor for the condition.
A recent research has also revealed that repeated headers during a footballer’s professional career can lead to long-term brain damage. In a study, British scientists investigating the autopsies on six retired professional footballers with dementia found they had a form of the associated with blows to the head, perhaps from headers.
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers asked 19 footballers to head a ball 20 times as if they were heading from a powerful corner kick. They were tested before and afterward, and scientists found their memory test performance was reduced by between 41 and 67 percent — although it reverted to normal within 24 hours.
The researchers from University College London and Cardi University, however, said recreational players were unlikely to incur problems.