Dreaming Away Dementia: Berkeley Research Shows Deep Sleep Alleviates Alzheimer’s Memory Loss
A deep slumber might help buffer against memory loss for older adults facing a heightened burden of Alzheimer’s disease, new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests.
Deep sleep, also known as non-REM slow-wave sleep, can act as a “cognitive reserve factor” that may increase resilience against a protein in the brain called beta-amyloid that is linked to memory loss caused by dementia. Disrupted sleep has previously been associated with faster accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain. However, the new research from a team at UC Berkeley reveals that superior amounts of deep, slow-wave sleep can act as a protective factor against memory decline in those with existing high amounts of Alzheimer’s disease pathology — a potentially significant advance that experts say could help alleviate some of dementia’s most devastating outcomes.