Treatment of Sleep Disturbance May Reduce the Risk of Future Probable Alzheimer’s Disease

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© The Author(s) 2018. Objective: This study explored two research questions: (a) Does sleep medication neutralize or provide a protective effect against the hazard of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? (b) Do apolipoprotein (APOE) e4 carriers reporting a sleep disturbance experience an increased risk of AD? Method: This study is a secondary analysis of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s Uniform Data Set (n = 6,782) using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Sleep disturbance was significantly associated with eventual AD development. Among the subset of participants taking general sleep medications, no relationship between sleep disturbance and eventual AD was observed. Among individuals not taking sleep medications, the increased hazard between the two variables remained. Among APOE e4 carriers, sleep disturbance and AD were significant, except among those taking zolpidem. Discussion: Our findings support the emerging link between sleep disturbance and AD. Our findings also suggest a continued need to elucidate the mechanisms that offer protective factors against AD development.

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Journal of Aging and Health

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