STATES CHRONICLE – A recent study conducted in Canada has revealed that sleep quality is important for the health of senior people. The researchers said that older citizens with bad sleeping habits are at risk for stroke or severe arteriosclerosis. It seems that the more interrupted the sleep pattern is, the higher the risks of arteriosclerosis or strokes are.
Assistant professor in the neurology department at the Toronto University and scientist and neurologist at the Toronto Sunnybrook Center for Health Sciences, Andrew Lim investigated alongside a team of other doctors the link between interrupted sleep patterns and strokes in the autopsied brains of 315 volunteers that participated in the Aging and Rush Memory Project.
All of the participants in the study were senior citizens that had an interrupted sleep pattern. It seems that in the case of the volunteers, there was an average disruption of sleep of up to seven times in a single hour. The participants (70 percent out of which were women) were monitored for at least a week before death. The autopsy of the brain revealed, in the majority of the cases, that they suffered from macroscopic infarcts, or strokes.
Out of 315 autopsies, the doctors concluded that 29% of the volunteers showed signs of a stroke, 61% presented evidence presented brain blood vessels damage that ranged from moderate to severe, It seems that the risk of such medical complications increases with an astonishing 27 percent when the patient experiences a disruption of the normal sleep cycle.
The percentages for developing severe arteriosclerosis were 27% higher in sleep deprived patients. The numbers only increase when it comes to macroscopic subcortical infarcts, 30 percent with every additional time the patient aroused during an average hour of sleep.
There was no conclusive evidence that tied interrupted sleep patterns to severe strokes. Doctor Lim explains that by saying that an acute stroke is composed out of a subset of manifests of pathological infarcts. Also macroscopic subcortical infarcts are easier to quantify, thus reducing the error margin
It seems that a fragmentation of the sleep pattern may cause the blood circulation to be impaired. This could lead to a number of health issues, amongst which we can find a chronic motor and cognitive impairment, and, yes, sleep deprivation.
Lim also adds that the sample on which the study was conducted is not broad enough in order to draw definitive conclusions. He states that the only certainty is that sleep quality is important for the health of senior people.
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