If you’re Hispanic and missing out on much needed sleep, a new study suggests that that could make you more prone to memory problems and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
“This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease when compared to non-Hispanic whites. Prolonged periods of sleep and chronic insomnia symptoms led to declines in memory, executive function, and processing speed. Those measures can precede the development of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.”Dr. Alberto Ramos, Sleep Expert & Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Miami
For the study, the researchers assessed the brain function of more than 5,200 Hispanics, aged 45 to 75, in Chicago, Miami, San Diego, and New York City at the start of the study, and again seven years later.
The study also included measures of sleep apnea, which has been linked to memory and thinking problems. The findings should help make doctors aware that sleep problems may be connected with mental decline, particularly in Hispanics, according to Ramos.
Future research may involve learning how a combination of sleep disorders and cerebrovascular disease may trigger mental decline.