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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Be Well

Poor sleep linked to Alzheimer’s-related plaque buildup

Not getting enough sleep or good sleep may be linked to the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain that could signal Alzheimer’s disease, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

The authors asked 70 adults, whose average age was 76, about their sleep patterns, including duration and quality. The participants then underwent brain imaging to look for the amount of beta amyloid plaque, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s. Those who reported having trouble sleeping or not getting enough sleep — considered to be less than five hours — had greater buildup of amyloid in the brain.

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