Circadian Rhythm Disruption Linked to Alzheimer’s

Jan 29, 2018

Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published in the “JAMA Neurology” journal, indicates that circadian rhythm disruptions occur much earlier in people whose memories are intact but whose brain scans show early, preclinical evidence of Alzheimer’s.

The findings potentially could help doctors identify people at risk of Alzheimer’s earlier than currently is possible. That’s important because Alzheimer’s damage can take root in the brain 15 to 20 years before clinical symptoms appear.

However, it’s not currently possible to answer the chicken-and-egg question of whether disrupted circadian rhythms put people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease or whether Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain disrupt circadian rhythms.

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