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EAN 2021 | Sleep disorders and neurodegeneration: which comes first?

Ambra Stefani, MD, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, explains that neurodegeneration is commonly linked to sleep disorders, due to the brain’s loss of ability to control sleep. Dr Stefani notes that the neurodegeneration may not always be responsible for sleep disorders as sleep disorders often precede neurodegeneration, such as the case in Alzheimer’s disease, where sleep disorders precede disease onset by many years. This suggests the possibility of sleep disorders being a risk factor for neurodegeneration. Dr Stefani also highlights a study, whereby one night of sleep deprivation led to increased levels of pathological proteins in the cerebral spinal fluid. This interview took place during the European Academy of Neurology 2021 congress.