Research released Monday shows sleep problems such as apnea may increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, while moderate exercise and mentally stimulating games like crossword puzzles can prevent its onset.
The Washington Post reports that the findings, set to be released at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen, adds weight to previous studies that found sleep plays a big role in the brain's health as someone ages.
"I would say that this another important study showing this link between sleep and subsequent diagnosis of dementia," Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatry professor at the University of California at San Francisco, which conducted the study, told the Post.
Alzheimer's, which affects more than 5 million Americans, is getting more attention as the Baby Boomer generation gets older, the Post reports.
The number of people suffering from the disease could reach 16 million by 2050.
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