Espejo K, et al. Daytime sleepiness in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at: SLEEP; June 3-7, 2023; Indianapolis.
Espejo reported no relevant financial disclosures.
INDIANAPOLIS — Greater daytime sleepiness scores were associated with worse sleep-dependent memory consolidation in women, Kimberly Espejo said in a presentation at SLEEP 2023.
“Sleep disruption may be a preventable cause of memory impairment,” Espejo, a clinical research coordinator at UC San Diego Health, said.
She and her colleagues “looked at the association between daytime sleepiness and sleep-dependent memory consolidation by sex in cognitively older adults,” and hypothesized that they would see sex differences in the results.
According to Espejo, 32 adults with a mean age of 70.7 years were evaluated, 75% of whom were non-Hispanic white and 50% of whom were women.
“As part of a larger study, they were screened with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment,” she said. “Eligible participants came back for an overnight visit and were assessed for obstructive sleep apnea and completed the Word-Pairs Association (WPA) task to assess sleep-dependent memory consolidation. It was examined by calculated change in morning vs. evening WPA score.”
Espejo explained that in the evening, participants were shown 40-word pairs on a computer. Some were related; some were not. Immediately afterward, participants were presented with the first word of the pair and given 10 seconds to respond with the matching word pair. They were given up to three tries. The next morning, the test was repeated.
“Independent t-tests revealed that women scored significantly lower on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and scored better on WPA than men,” Espejo said, “meaning that they had less daytime sleepiness and did better on the WPA. But in women, a better WPA was associated with less daytime sleepiness.”
She continued: “Preliminary findings from this ongoing study provide support for a sex-specific association between daytime sleepiness and sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Further research is needed on this topic to determine if there are optimal preventive strategies for older adults, specifically women, at risk of cognitive decline.”