Back in 2015, Malaysia had 123,000 people who suffer from dementia according to the reports made by Alzheimer’s Disease International. It was predicted that the numbers by 2030 is to increase to 261,000 and will continually increase to 590,000 by 2050.

In America, millions are affected by this disease and expected to increase as the years go by. It is believed that prolonged sleep and dementia is linked together by researchers.

This research suggests that sleeping for more than 9 hours for every night heightens the risks of dementia developing.

In total, there are over 46 million people who suffer with dementia globally, with the expectation of the numbers to triple by 2050.

The estimated amount of people in the United States to have Alzheimer’s disease is over 5 million. The frightening part is that risk of the disease increases as one age. To add further, Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia kills one in three seniors.

The stress of finance is also a great concern for many as it is believed to cost around $5,000 per year to take care of someone who has developed Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that the national economic burden to cost around $236 billion.

Its suggested that those who have prolonged sleeping habits have a greater chance of developing dementia according to a large-scale study.

Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology at BUSM (Boston University School of Medicine), led this research and had the information of this research published in the journal Neurology.

FHS (Framingham Heart Study) researchers examined this data. Started in 1948, FHS is a large cohort study that enrolled 5,209 men and women that were aged 30-62 that lived in the town of Framingham, MA. Identifying the variables of cardiovascular disease was their main purpose of the study.


Sleeping 9 hours or more linked to greater dementia risk

The adults that enrolled in the FHS were asked to report their duration of sleep for each night for the study. For 10 years the researchers clinically checked every participant to see if any of them developed Alzheimer’s disease or any other forms of dementia.

Researchers from BUSM then collected and examined the data consisting the sleep duration to calculate the chances of developing dementia.

What they found was truly disturbing. It was found that those who slept for 9 hours or more had double the chance develop Alzheimer’s disease within 10 years compared to those who slept less than 9 hours.

Education is a variable that helps combat the development of dementia according to the lead author of this study.

“Participants without a high school degree who sleep for more than 9 hours each night had six times the risk of developing dementia in 10 years as compared with participants who slept for less. These results suggest that being highly educated may protect against dementia in the presence of long sleep duration.” Dr. Sudha Seshadri

Smaller brain volumes were found in the people who slept longer than 9 hours a night according to the study. As the study was only observational and without causality, excessive sleep is most likely one of the symptoms of dementia instead of being a cause to neuronal changes in the brain according to researchers. Reducing the duration of sleep is not a solution for lowering the chance of dementia development according to the speculations from the researchers.

Potential dementia and cognitive impairments detections practices is believed to one day include the findings of this observational study by the authors. Matthew Pase, co-corresponding author of this study and Ph.D, is a fellow in the neurology department at BUSM and one of the investigators from the FHS, emphasizes greatly on the importance of the findings.

“Self-reported sleep duration may be a useful clinical tool to help predict persons at risk of progressing to clinical dementia within 10 years,” he says. “Persons reporting long sleep time may warrant assessment and monitoring for problems with thinking and memory.”

The best thing now is for a potential patient of dementia to be properly diagnosed as soon as possible, as more time will be given him/her and to their families to make necessary healthcare choices and plan financially ahead. As stated above, financing for dementia patient isn’t cheap.

Legacy Verve
By Aaron
17th April 2020 21:41

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