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Volume 14 No. 09
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Scientific Investigations

Total Sleep Time Interacts With Age to Predict Cognitive Performance Among Adults

Brian S. Mohlenhoff, MD1,2,3; Philip S. Insel, MS2,4,5; R. Scott Mackin, PhD1,2,5; Thomas C. Neylan, MD1,3; Derek Flenniken2,5; Rachel Nosheny, PhD2,5; Anne Richards, MD, MPH1,3; Paul Maruff, PhD6,7; Michael W. Weiner, MD1,2,3,4
1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; 2Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND), San Francisco, California; 3Mental Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California; 4Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; 5San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Veterans Health Research Institute (NCIRE), San Francisco, California; 6Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; 7Cogstate, Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Study Objectives:

To investigate interactions between high and low amounts of sleep and other predictors of cognitive performance.

Methods:

We used four cognitive tests to determine whether sleep time interacted with age, personal history of a memory problem, parental history of a memory problem, or personal concerns about memory and were associated with cognitive performance. Data were collected from an internet-based cohort study. We used an ordinary least squares regression with restricted cubic splines, controlling for demographic variables and comorbidities.

Results:

We found significant nonlinear interactions between (1) total sleep time and age and (2) total sleep time and personal history of a memory problem and cognitive performance. Short and long sleep durations and self-reported memory complaints were associated with poorer performance on a test of attention and this was true to a greater degree in younger and older adults. A repeat analysis excluding subjects reporting dementia was significant only for the test of attention.

Conclusions:

These results extend existing data on sleep duration and cognition across the lifespan by combining in a single study the results from four specific cognitive tests, both younger and older adults, and four self-reported risk factors for cognitive impairment. Longitudinal studies with biomarkers should be undertaken to determine whether causal mechanisms, such as inflammation or amyloid buildup, account for these associations.

Citation:

Mohlenhoff BS, Insel PS, Mackin RS, Neylan TC, Flenniken D, Nosheny R, Richards A, Maruff P, Weiner MW. Total sleep time interacts with age to predict cognitive performance among adults. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(9):1587–1594.


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