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VOLUME 37, ISSUE 07

SLEEP DURATION AND AGE-RELATED CHANGES IN BRAIN STRUCTURE AND COGNITION
Sleep Duration and Age-Related Changes in Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3832

June C. Lo, PhD; Kep Kee Loh, MSc; Hui Zheng, MEng; Sam K.Y. Sim, BSc; Michael W.L. Chee, MBBS

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore



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Study Objectives:

To investigate the contribution of sleep duration and quality to age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance in relatively healthy older adults.

Design:

Community-based longitudinal brain and cognitive aging study using a convenience sample.

Setting:

Participants were studied in a research laboratory.

Participants:

Relatively healthy adults aged 55 y and older at study commencement.

Interventions:

N/A.

Measurements and Results:

Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment every 2 y. Subjective assessments of sleep duration and quality and blood samples were obtained. Each hour of reduced sleep duration at baseline augmented the annual expansion rate of the ventricles by 0.59% (P = 0.007) and the annual decline rate in global cognitive performance by 0.67% (P = 0.050) in the subsequent 2 y after controlling for the effects of age, sex, education, and body mass index. In contrast, global sleep quality at baseline did not modulate either brain or cognitive aging. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation, showed no correlation with baseline sleep duration, brain structure, or cognitive performance.

Conclusions:

In healthy older adults, short sleep duration is associated with greater age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline. These associations are not associated with elevated inflammatory responses among short sleepers.

Citation:

Lo JC, Loh KK, Zheng H, Sim SK, Chee MW. Sleep duration and age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance. SLEEP 2014;37(7):1171-1178.

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