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Sleep Fragmentation and Cognitive Impairment in Adults

Optoceutics-Sleep Fragmentation and Cognitive Impairment in Adults
Publication: Science

Authors: Kirusanthy Kaneshwaran, Marta Olanhshinya Tasakilei, Lei  Yue, Elizabeth M. Bradshaw,  Julie Al Schneider, Aron S. Buchman, David A. Bennet, Phillip L DeJager, Andrew S. P. Lim 

The study “Sleep Fragmentation, Microglial Aging, and Cognitive Impairment in Adults with and without Alzheimer’s Dementia” explores the effects of disrupted sleep on cognitive decline through the lens of microglial aging. Utilizing data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project and the Religious Orders Study, the researchers measured sleep fragmentation via actigraphy and assessed postmortem brain tissue for microglial gene expression.

The findings reveal a significant association between sleep fragmentation and the expression of genes characteristic of aged microglia. These aged microglia, in turn, correlate with cognitive impairment and decline. Specifically, the study highlights that fragmented sleep is linked to increased microglial activation and altered gene expression, which are critical factors in the aging brain and the development of dementia.

The implications of this research are profound, suggesting that improving sleep quality could potentially mitigate some aspects of cognitive aging and dementia progression. The study underscores the importance of addressing sleep disturbances as a modifiable risk factor in the fight against cognitive decline.

This research also opens new avenues for exploring therapeutic interventions targeting sleep quality to delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. For a deeper dive into the methodologies and detailed findings, access the full article here.

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