A new study now says that falling asleep during the day could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research.
The study, conducted on nearly 300 retired people found those who reported being very sleepy during the day had higher accumulations of amyloid plaques in their brains - a major cause of Alzheimer’s.
According to scientists, this is because the human brain clears away amyloid when the body is asleep.
They concluded that people who are suffering broken sleep at night are more likely to have build-ups of the toxic substance.
The research, conducted from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said that ‘excessive daytime sleepiness’ in the elderly should be considered to be a red flag for Alzheimer’s.
The research was published in the JAMA Neurology journal.
The scientists, tracked participants aged over 70 between 2009 and 2016, none of whom had dementia at the beginning of the study and found that the fifth of the participants which suffered from daytime sleepiness were the most likely to show build-ups of amyloid, a sticky protein which forms plaques in the brain.
According to the scientists, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) was associated with increased amyloid-beta accumulation in elderly persons without dementia.