Hints That a Sleeping Pill Might Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
Taking a particular sleep medication may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s too soon to say for sure after a preliminary study.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that participants who took a sleeping pill called suvorexant before bed had a drop in levels of key Alzheimer’s disease proteins.
“This is a small, proof-of-concept study. It would be premature for people who are worried about developing Alzheimer’s to interpret it as a reason to start taking suvorexant every night,” said senior study author Dr. Brendan Lucey, an associate professor of neurology and director of Washington University’s Sleep Medicine Center.
“We don’t yet know whether long-term use is effective in staving off cognitive decline, and if it is, at what dose and for whom,” he added in a university news release. “Still, these results are very encouraging. This drug is already available and proven safe, and now we have evidence that it affects the levels of proteins that are critical for driving Alzheimer’s disease.”