Sleep disturbances can lead to brain damage and dementia

Han Su-hyeon, professor of neurology at Chung-Ang University Hospital (right), treats a patient. (Photo = Chung-Ang University Hospital)

[뉴스토마토 동지훈 기자] With the aging society, the number of cases of dementia is also increasing. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the representative diseases of dementia, abnormal amyloid proteins are deposited in the brain, causing damage to the brain, causing dysfunction cognitive.

There are a number of risk factors that cause Alzheimer’s disease, such as age and aging, cerebral infarction, diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, smoking, drinking, family history, and brain damage. dementia.

For humans, sleep saves energy, restores the body, and especially plays a role in consolidating memories into long-term memories, and maintaining various functions for life activities in the body.

Memory is important for memory storage because, when you perform various activities during the day in everyday life, the memory is registered as short-term memory in the hippocampus of the brain and stored temporarily, and then transferred to the cerebral cortex in the long term. memory is stored during deep sleep at night. It will play a role.

According to the International Journal of Nanomedicine, the glymphatic system was first discovered in the brain in 2012. At that time, it was confirmed that the lymph system plays a role in cleaning the brain.

Han Soo-hyeon, professor of neurology at Chung-Ang University Hospital, said, “During Alzheimer’s dementia, various abnormal proteins accumulate in the brain, and the brain’s lymph system plays a role in cleaning up these proteins. It it’s important to get a good night’s sleep because it cleans out waste products,” he said.

In fact, several epidemiological studies have revealed that there is a difference in cognitive function between the sleep group and the non-sleep group.

According to a study carried out in an international journal on Alzheimer’s disease among elderly women aged 70 to 81, those who slept less than 5 hours had lower cognitive functions, including memory and attention, than those who slept more than 7 hours . In addition, the overall cognitive function score was lower when there were symptoms of insomnia such as difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or having trouble sleeping regularly.

According to the International Journal of Sleep Medicine (Sleep Medicine) publication, a prospective study conducted on elderly people over 65 years of age with normal cognitive function also found that sleeping less than 6.5 hours was associated with a decline in cognitive function after 10 years.

A study conducted by the International Psychological Association (Psychol Bull) of school age children aged 5-12 years as well as the elderly showed that short sleep duration has an effect on cognitive functions, such as executive function and performance, and it was also. associated with lower grades.

In fact, a study also confirms that amyloid protein deposition increases in PET-CT of the brain when sleeping for less than 6 hours.

Healthy habits are important to prevent dementia, which can manifest as a sleep disorder.

Professor Han Su-hyeon said, “For healthy sleeping habits, it is necessary to find the exact cause of sleep disorders. The actual causes of sleep disorders range from simple insomnia to obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement syndrome, circadian sleep disorder, and REM sleep. Because there are different types of behavioral disorders, the underlying cause needs to be found and treated with a specialist.”

He continued, “In order to get a good night’s sleep, it is necessary to harmonize a high level of desire to sleep, correct sleep timing, and a low level of arousal in a regular circadian rhythm. Don’t worry too much about going to sleep, and before going to’ in bed, take a deep breath to relax your body and stop thinking.”

Taking sleeping pills to increase the amount of time you sleep or fall asleep more quickly can worsen sleep disorders.

Professor Han Su-hyeon said, “Using an appropriate sleeping pill may be helpful for temporary insomnia, but since it does not treat the cause of insomnia, the effect may be temporary. “Care should be taken when using sleeping pills, and a sleep medicine specialist needs to be consulted before taking it.”

By Dong Ji-hoon, staff reporter jeehoon@etomato.com

ⓒ Tasty Tomato News, reprinted without permission – redistribution prohibited

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