Senior Sleep Trouble May Be A Myth

Conventional wisdom often links aging to sleep problems. And, according to recent research, sleeplessness can raise the risk of everything from hypertension to diabetes. But though that may seem like a reason for older adults to be concerned, a new study from the University of Pittsburgh’s Sleep and Chronobiology Center and University Center for Social and Urban Research found that seniors aren’t having as much trouble sleeping as as assumed and sleep trouble may have more to do with poor health than age. The study surveyed 1,200 retired seniors. Results showed that 75 percent of respondents reported sleeping more than 6.75 hours a night and just 25 percent reported sleeping less than that. Timothy H. Monk, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, said the stereotype of seniors going to bed early and having trouble staying asleep is inaccurate. More here.

Research Identifies Existing Drugs That May Slow Dementia

A new study from King’s College London has discovered four existing medications, used to treat conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, that may help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The study’s lead author, Professor Clive Ballard, said developing new drugs to treat dementia is incredibly important but also very expensive. Locating medications that already exist and have shown the potential to benefit dementia patients means quicker results and cheaper treatments. Among the drugs found to have possible benefits, calcium channel blockers have shown strong evidence that they reduce the risk of developing dementia. The authors caution, however, that more study is needed to better understand how these medications may benefit patients with dementia. More here.

High Blood Pressure Doubles Risk Of Stroke

If you have high-blood pressure, you have twice the risk of suffering a stroke compared to someone with normal blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. And a recent study of nearly 500 stroke survivors found 72 percent reported having been diagnosed with high-blood pressure at some point in their lives. Amy Towfighi, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California, conducted the research and found nearly half of people that had a stroke had poorly controlled high blood pressure. Towfighi said high blood pressure is the strongest risk factor for stroke, which made it surprising that nearly half of stroke survivors had poorly controlled hypertension. More here.