Integrating Sleep and Alzheimer's Disease Pathophysiology: Hints for Sleep Disorders Management

Paola Proserpio, Dario Arnaldi, Flavio Nobili, Lino Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sleep represents an active phenomenon regulated by a highly integrated network of cortical and subcortical structures. This complex model results in disruptions at various levels during physiological aging and more deeply during neurodegenerative disorders, thus leading to different sleep alterations. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), sleep-wake abnormalities were described to occur even in the preclinical phase, thus suggesting they could be a possible AD biomarker. On the other hand, they also favor the progression of the disease. In this paper, we review current theories regarding sleep regulations and functions to highlight the pathophysiological mechanisms at the basis of the bidirectional relationship between sleep and AD. A better understanding of these complex interactions might also be useful to target both sleep disorder management and AD-related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-886
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Aging
  • circadian process
  • homeostatic process
  • melatonin
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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