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Risk of Dementia, Stroke Increases in Seniors Due to Lack of Proper Sleep

Update Date: Jan 15, 2016 07:09 PM EST
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There are many serious health conditions associated with lack of sleep. For seniors, it may be more serious as it increases their risk of dementia and stroke. A team of Canadian researchers suggest that improper sleep is defined as waking episodes many times during the night. Experts revealed that the higher the sleep fragmentation, the greater were the risks of brain arteries hardening. They also noted that a death of brain tissue risk caused due to lack of oxygen in small strokes increase as sleep fragmentation worsens, reported Tech Times.

Through this study, the authors tested their hypothesis that sleep fragmentation is related to increased damage to the brain vessel and lack of oxygen, that is observed in the autopsies. For the purpose of the study, researchers autopsied brains of 315 subjects with an average age of 90 years. The sleep quality of the participants was evaluated for at least a week before they died. As per the authors, 29% of the participants suffered from stroke and 61% underwent intense damage to the brain blood vessels. The authors said that the participants woke up at least seven times in an hour. The findings show that the participants with highest levels of sleep fragmentation were 27% more probe to face hardened brain arteries, as reported by News Max

Lead author Andrew Lim from the University of Toronto says, repeated episodes of waking can increase blood pressures that can also cause damage to the blood vessels. However, Lim said that the study does not give any cause-and-effect relationship between sleep and stroke. "At this point in time we don't have hard evidence that treating sleep fragmentation is going to make a big difference," he said, reported Reuters

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