A new study done by the University of Miami finds Hispanics may have an increase risk of Alzheimer's disease due to sleep disturbances.
“Insomnia, and prolonged sleep duration appear to be linked to a decline in neurocognitive functioning that can precede the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias,” says Alberto R. Ramos, Associate professor of neurology at the school.
Researchers say they followed 5,247 participiants between the ages of 45 and 75, giving them two cognotive tests seven years apart. They found that symptoms of chronic insomnia and prolonged periods of sleep led to a decline in memory, executive function and processing speed among test subjects.
"Those measures can precede the development of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Ramos says.
He hopes the findings can lead to early intervention to prevent the risk of dementia, particularly in Hispanic patients.