Problemas para dormir vinculados a un mayor riesgo de demencia

El estudio examinó cómo múltiples medidas longitudinales de los trastornos del sueño (insomnio al inicio del sueño, insomnio durante el sueño, uso de medicamentos para dormir) se relacionan con el riesgo de demencia.

Un estudio reciente demostró un vínculo entre el insomnio resultante de mantener el sueño y un menor riesgo de demencia, mientras que el insomnio para iniciar el sueño y el uso de medicamentos para dormir se asociaron con un mayor riesgo de demencia.

Un estudio reciente se sumó a la creciente evidencia que vincula los trastornos del sueño y el deterioro cognitivo. La investigación encontró asociaciones significativas entre tres medidas de alteración del sueño y la probabilidad de desarrollar demencia durante un período de 10 años.

Según un estudio publicado en Revista americana de medicina preventiva Según Elsevier, las personas con insomnio al inicio del sueño (la incapacidad de conciliar el sueño en 30 minutos) y el uso de medicamentos para dormir pueden tener un mayor riesgo de demencia. Por el contrario, el estudio encontró que las personas con insomnio de mantenimiento del sueño (dificultad para volver a dormirse después de despertarse) tenían menos probabilidades de desarrollar demencia en el transcurso de la investigación.

explicó el investigador principal Roger Wong, PhD, MPH, MSW, profesor asistente en el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medicina Preventiva, SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, EE. UU. «La motivación detrás de esta investigación fue impulsada a nivel personal. Mi padre ha estado sufriendo trastornos crónicos del sueño desde[{» attribute=»»>COVID-19 pandemic began, and I was concerned how this would affect his cognition in the future. After reading the existing literature, I was surprised to see mixed findings on the sleep-dementia relationship, so I decided to investigate this topic.”

This research is novel because it is the first to examine how long-term sleep disturbance measures are associated with dementia risk using a nationally representative US older adult sample. Previous research has associated REM sleep behavior, sleep deprivation (less than five hours of sleep), and the use of short-acting benzodiazepines with cognitive decline. Their results for sleep-maintenance insomnia support other recent studies using smaller, separate data samples.

This study used 10 annual waves (2011−2020) of prospective data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), a longitudinal panel study that surveys a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older within the USA. This study included only people who were dementia-free at baseline in 2011.

There is no cure for dementia and recent pharmaceutical approaches to treat dementia have had limited success, pointing to the importance of preventive approaches to dementia. “By focusing on the variations in sleep disturbances, our findings can help to inform lifestyle changes that can reduce dementia risk,” explained co-investigator Margaret Anne Lovier, MPH, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.

While the mechanism for decreased dementia risk among those with sleep-maintenance insomnia is still unknown, the investigators theorize that greater engagement in activities that preserve or increase cognitive reserve may thereby decrease dementia risk.

Recent evidence indicates there is a higher prevalence of sleep disturbances among older adults than among other age groups. This could be attributed to a variety of factors including anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic or warmer nights as a consequence of climate change.

“Older adults are losing sleep over a wide variety of concerns. More research is needed to better understand its causes and manifestations and limit the long-term consequences,” added Dr. Wong. “Our findings highlight the importance of considering sleep disturbance history when assessing the dementia risk profile for older adults. Future research is needed to examine other sleep disturbance measures using a national longitudinal sample, whether these sleep-dementia findings hold true for specific dementia subtypes, and how certain sociodemographic characteristics may interact with sleep disturbances to influence dementia risk.”

Reference: “Sleep Disturbances and Dementia Risk in Older Adults: Findings From 10 Years of National U.S. Prospective Data” by Roger Wong and Margaret Anne Lovier, 26 January 2023, American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.01.008

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