Vinson DiSanto, DO, on New Mouse Study Suggests Alzheimer’s Early Warning

Vinson DiSanto, DO, currently serves as the Medical Director for Spectrum Services in Miami. Dr. DiSanto has practiced medicine for over 25 years and is board certified in anti-aging medicine.

When you see your doctor for an annual physical, he or she will often ask you how you’ve been sleeping. A new study suggests that your answer to that question may help doctors determine if you’re in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe that beta amyloid plaques cause much of the brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, noticeable mental decline often occurs at a very late stage in the disease, after a person has developed irreparable brain damage.

Now researchers have noticed that, in mice, sleep disruptions occur in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease when the plaques first being to develop. Mice who developed the plaque started displaying an interrupted sleep schedule, sleeping 25 percent less in a 24 hour period. While the researchers caution that the results from mouse studies do not always apply to human beings, the finding suggests several new possibilities for the early detection of Alzheimer’s.