The synergistic relationship between Alzheimer's disease and sleep disorders: An update

Chiara Villa, Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Romina Combi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep disorders are frequently reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD), with a significant impact on patients and caregivers and a major risk factor for early institutionalization. Although changes in sleep organization are a hallmark of the normal aging processes, sleep macro-and micro-architectural alterations are more evident in patients affected by AD. Degeneration of neural pathways regulating sleep-wake patterns and sleep architecture may contribute to sleep alterations. In return, several recent studies suggested that common sleep disorders may precede clinical symptoms of dementia and represent risk factors for cognitive decline, through impairment of sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes. Thus, a close relationship between sleep disorders and AD has been largely hypothesized. Here, sleep alterations in AD and its pre-dementia stage, mild cognitive impairment, and their complex interactions are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 25 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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