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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2005 September;46(3):159-74

language: English

Sleep disturbance in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative dementias

Harper D. G., Olson M., Asayama K.


One of many disturbing sequelae of Alzhei-mer's disease and other neurodegenerative dementias is sleep disturbance that significantly reduces quality of life for patients. These sleep disturbances are extremely difficult to identify and treat due to several fundamental characteristics of neurodegenerative illnesses and their course. These factors include the heterogeneous nature and cause of dementia, the cognitive impact of the disease rendering patients non compliant with testing and treatment, the association of dementia with the aging process yielding many comorbid medical issues impacting on sleep, and, ultimately, the conditions prevalent in home and institutional living environments. Even with the current lack of clinical trials of pharmacological agents for sleep disturbance in this population, increased awareness of the potential causes of sleep disturbance can lead to improved treatment strategies yielding benefits for both patient and caregiver.

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