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Sleep duration implicated in cognition

12 Jun 2019

Both short and long sleep duration are associated with poorer cognitive outcomes, exerting a small negative effect on reaction time and visual memory, as reported in a recent study.

Researchers conducted a Mendelian randomization (MR) study with 77 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for sleep duration. They collected individual-participant data from the UK Biobank cohort (n=395,803; mean age, 56.9 years; 54 percent female) and summary statistics from the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (cases: n=17,008; controls: n=37,154) to examine the potential impact of sleep duration on cognitive outcomes.

The average sleep duration in the cohort was 7.17 hours/day. There were U-shaped/inverted U-shaped patterns across sleep duration categories for most variables. Compared with those who reported sleeping for 7 hours/day, participants in both <7 and >7 hours/day sleep categories had lower scores in the baseline visual-memory and reaction-time tests.

The worst scores were observed among participants sleeping 10–12 hours/day (average number of incorrect matches in visual-memory test, 4.6; average reaction time, 591 milliseconds). Linear MR indicated that each additional hour/day of sleep slowed reaction time by 1 percent (p=0.008) and increased errors in visual-memory test by 3 percent (p=0.05).

There was, however, little evidence to support associations between increased sleep duration and visual memory decline (odds ratio [OR] per additional hour/day of sleep, 1.10, 95 percent CI, 0.76–1.57; p=0.62), reaction time decline (OR, 1.28, 0.49–3.35; p=0.61), all-cause dementia (OR, 1.19, 0.65–2.19; p=0.57) or Alzheimer’s disease risk (OR, 0.89, 0.67–1.18; p=0.41).

Meanwhile, nonlinear MR showed both short and long sleep duration to be associated with poorer visual memory (p-nonlinearity=3.44–9) and reaction time (p-nonlinearity=6.66–16).

The findings suggest that increased sleep duration may be causally related to poorer reaction time and visual memory, despite relatively small linear-effect sizes, the researchers said.

Therefore, improved sleep habits could represent a potential therapeutic target for cognition, which is important as there is currently no single-measure treatment that can decelerate cognitive decline or the risk of dementia, they added.

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Most Read Articles
Stephen Padilla, 6 days ago
Early administration of recombinant human B-type natriuretic peptide (rhBNP) can lower the incidence of reperfusion injury for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who are receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) treatment, according to a China study.
11 Aug 2019
Intraoperative methylprednisolone does not appear to significantly prevent the incidence of death, cardiac arrest and other injuries in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, according to a recent study.
3 days ago
Pulmonary function has potential predictive value for future increases in arterial stiffness and its progression, as reported in a recent study.
Yesterday
Systolic blood pressure appears to have a strong association with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH) but not with unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA), whereas current smoking and female sex are risk factors for both conditions, a study has found.