by Alice Park
Prashanthi Vemuri, an associate professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic, and her colleagues wanted to address a puzzling problem in the field. Studies showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have disrupted sleep, which made sense: biological studies have recently revealed that while the brain sleeps, it clears away deposits of amyloid, the protein that builds up and eventually strangles nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease. But it wasn’t clear whether the amyloid plaque deposits led to the disrupted sleep, or whether changes in sleep habits contributed to the buildup of the protein. To find out, Vemuri and her team took advantage of a long-running study of nearly 3,000 older people in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, all of whom were recruited from Olmsted County, Minn.
Reach: Time magazine covers national and international news and provides analysis and perspective of these events. The weekly magazine has a circulation of 3.2 million readers and its website has 4.6 million unique visitors each month.
Context: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can protect the brain against several risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol and avoiding obesity, smoking and diabetes are among the steps that can help preserve brain health, according to the study, published in JAMA Neurology. “It is important to note that fewer midlife risk factors and fewer chronic health conditions contribute to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease dementia,” says first author Prashanthi Vemuri, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic dementia researcher. “For healthier brain aging, managing one’s overall health over a lifetime is vital.” More information about the study can be found on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Susan Barber Lindquist