Sleep and sleep disorders in dementia: An updated overview

Nicholas Tiberio Economou, Barbara Wolgamuth, Luigi Ferini-Strambi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Changes in sleep organization are a hallmark of the normal aging process. Sleep macro- and micro-structure changes are more evident in the context of dementia. The ?Sleep and neurodegeneration and/or dementia? issue contains a causality dilemma; in the context of neurodegeneration, sleep-wake promoting neurons may be affected, while in many of the neurodegenerative disorders, central respiratory drive and autonomic neurons are also degenerated and may cause primary sleep disorders. Conversely, several recent studies suggest that common sleep disorders (i.e., insomnia, daytime sleepiness and generally decreased amplitude and robustness of sleep-wake cycle), which are mostly prevalent among the cognitively impaired people, may precede clinical symptoms of dementia and may be risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. Here, sleep, its alteration and sleep disorders in the context not only of dementia but also in pre-dementia stages (i.e., the mild cognitive impairment - MCI) are reviewed. Moreover, the complex interactions between sleep and dementia and the previouslymentioned causality dilemma are addressed by also reviewing the existing management strategies and evidence of the impact of therapeutic approaches on sleep disorders in dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDementia: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Management Strategies
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781633219458, 9781633219281
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Dementia
  • Sleep
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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