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Chronic insomnia and dementia risk

Diana Ivanovna  Babaevskaya; Vladimir Vladimirovich  Zakharov; Mikhail Gurevich  Poluektov; Natalya Vasilyevna Vakknina; Sergei Karpov;

According to recent studies, the standard duration of nocturnal sleep may be critical for cognitive processing and normal metabolism and elimination of amyloid precursor protein in Alzheimer’s disease. So, insufficient sleep could constitute a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline in the elderly. The objective of this review was to assess the link between chronic insomnia and the risk of dementia. We performed a search using the keywords «insomnia AND dementia» for all available articles written in English from January 2010 to January 2020. We identified more than 471 potentially eligible articles from keyword searches; 9 of them met inclusion-exclusion criteria and were included in our non-systematic review. Chronic insomnia was significantly associated with the all-cause dementia manifestation in 5 studies (three retrospectives and two prospective) and with cognitive decline in 1 prospective study. However, in 4 other studies, insomnia was not significantly linked with dementia. Thus, there is currently insufficient evidence to state that chronic insomnia is a risk factor for dementia or cognitive decline in the elderly. Further research is needed to evaluate the place of insomnia and its significance in reducing the risk or slowing the progression of cognitive impairment.


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Keywords: dementia, insomnia, cognitive decline, sleep disorder

Stavropol State Medical Academy
Pyatigorsk State Research Institute of Balneotherapeutics
Pyatigorsk State Pharmaceutical Academy