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Dementia Prevention : Sleep disorder link with brain structure

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Brain is an amazing organ in human body which is composed of over billions of neurons and supporting cells. Sleep is an important consideration in the management of common medical conditions in children and adults. Dementia's are brain disorders that impair the memory, thinking and behaviour. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia. Though all the patients have dementia, not all the dementia patients have this disease.

Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are linked to hypertension and sympathetic nervous system activity. Deprivation of sleep has been associated with an increase in negative mood states and diminished positive mood. Also, it has been linked to potentially serious changes to emotion, mood states and their regulation. Sleep deprivation individuals are more likely to display inappropriate behaviours and act impulsively. After a period of extended wakefulness, the stability of one of the brain regions is responsible for the transition between sleep and wake becomes unstable; thus, resulting in the uncontrollable intrusion of sleep into wakefulness. As per research good sound sleep leads to the generation and survival of new neurons formed in the brain. Role of sleep enables the development of the structural substrates of brain plasticity.

Therefore sleep continuity is very important for cognitive functions and memory consolidation. Total sleep deprivation can affect one’s evaluation of risk and decision making. Memory can also be affected by sleep deprivation. Sleep has an impact on emotional regulation. Dementia can defined as a decline in mental ability, which is severe enough to interfere with daily life. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.

As of now there is no particular cure for dementia however early intrusion is the solution. But, effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is available. Treatment of sleep disorder and diagnosing could help to prevent cognitive decline before it's too late. As per recent research there may be a chance to develop cognition and possibly reduce dementia risk through early diagnosis and efficient therapy for sleep disorders. Regular sleep and exercise could help the brain chemistry to function at its best.

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