Early Alzheimer’s disease is associated with reduced non-rapid eyes movements sleep and tau pathology
Alzheimer’s patients accumulate amyloid-b plaques (Ab) and tau protein tangles in their brains long before they show any clinical symptoms. Early intervention is crucial for slowing down neurodegeneration and the disease progression. Determining reliable markers for early AD is therefore necessary. Lucey et al. The study, by Lucey et al. The results suggest that NREM sleep changes may be an early indication of AD pathology, and that noninvasive sleep analyses might be helpful for patients at high risk of developing AD.
Alzheimer’s (AD) results in the accumulation of amyloid-b in the neocortex, which is then followed by neuronal cell death, synaptic atrophy, cognitive impairment, and intracellular tau aggregation. Ab accumulation has often reached its peak by the time the first clinical symptoms appear. Neocortical tau is also present. The time period when AD pathology accumulates in the absence cognitive symptoms is clinically relevant for therapeutic intervention. In recent years, sleep is becoming more widely recognized as a marker of AD pathology. It may also indicate future cognitive impairment. In animal models and in humans, previous studies have linked decreased NREM sleep slow wave activity with the deposition of Ab. This study analyzed cognitive function, brain imaging and cerebrospinal (CSF), AD biomarkers among participants in longitudinal studies on aging.