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The less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age, study suggests

Posted in Science on 2nd Jul, 2014 10:42 PM by AlexMuller

Past research has examined the impact of sleep duration on cognitive functions in older adults. Though faster brain ventricle enlargement is a marker for cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, the effects of sleep on this marker have never been measured.


The Duke-NUS study examined the data of 66 older Chinese adults, from the Singapore-Longitudinal Aging Brain Study. Participants underwent structural MRI brain scans measuring brain volume and neuropsychological assessments testing cognitive function every two years. Additionally, their sleep duration was recorded through a questionnaire. Those who slept fewer hours showed evidence of faster ventricle enlargement and decline in cognitive performance.
"Our findings relate short sleep to a marker of brain aging," said Dr June Lo, the lead author and a Duke-NUS Research Fellow. "Work done elsewhere suggests that seven hours a day for adults seems to be the sweet spot for optimal performance on computer based cognitive tests. In coming years we hope to determine what's good for cardio-metabolic and long term brain health too," added Professor Michael Chee, senior author and Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke-NUS.

Tags: sleepbrainDementiaAlzheimer'saginghealth

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-03
Sleep is far more important than many people assume. It is not just that short sleep has an effect on the next day performance, but routine lack of sleep has big impact on health, affecting mental health/ linked to depression. Now we know, it affects ageing as well! Time to take notice
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-03
I agree. It is known that a run of poor sleep can have a potentially profound effect on the internal workings of the human body. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function have all been linked to substandard sleep. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-07-03
This is yet another line of evidence that mind and body are tightly interconnected. Sleep is an important function and there is lot of evidence that it has to be taken seriously to avoid big health problems Reply


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