Specialists from the University of California at San Francisco have found that daytime sleepiness can indicate development of Alzheimer’s as brain cells responsible for wakefulness become one of the first targets of this neurological disorder, Alzheimer's & Dementia reported.
As part of the study, scientists found that people with diagnosed Alzheimer's disease experience constant drowsiness, even before the development of memory problems.
After examining the brains of 13 deceased patients with Alzheimer's disease, specialists found that three areas of the brain responsible for wakefulness - the blue spot (locus coeruleus), the lateral region of the hypothalamus and the tuberammammillary nucleus - lost up to 75% of their neurons. This is what causes the constant drowsiness of people suffering from this disorder.
Scientists hope that the results of the study will help improve the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease.