A new study led by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine revealed that sleeping more than nine hours per night is associated with smaller brain and gray matter volume in older Hispanic adults.
Dr. Ramos was the senior author of the study, “Sleep Duration and Brain MRI Measures: Results from SOL-INCA MRI Study,” published recently in Alzheimer's & Dementia®, the journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Miller School co-authors included Sonya Kaur, Ph.D., instructor in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, and Christian Agudelo, M.D., assistant professor of clinical neurology.
Funded by the National Institute on Aging and National Heart Lung Blood Institute, the collaborative study included researchers from Wayne State University, San Diego State University, Harvard Medical School, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of North Carolina, University of Illinois, University of California, San Diego, and University of California, Davis.
Researchers recruited 2,334 Hispanic participants, ages 35 to 85, to undergo neuroimaging and subsequently self-report sleep duration. Using MRI, the researchers found increased sleep was associated with smaller brain volume and smaller regions of gray and occipital matter, especially in those 50 and older.
Dr. Ramos noted that the new study complements his previous research showing that long sleep duration predicts cognitive decline, pointing to both functional (cognitive) and structural (volume) brain changes in this at-risk group.