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Sleep in Aging and Dementias

Monday, May 16, 2011 to Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Disruption of sleep in the elderly is one of the most profound and well documented changes with aging and there is increasing evidence that disruption of sleep impacts behavior and physiology. Despite this strong evidence, there is a gap in understanding interactions between diseases in the elderly and sleep disruptions. Therefore, the Division of Neuroscience, NIA convened an exploratory workshop to survey current understanding, emerging ideas, knowledge gaps and research opportunities pertaining to sleep and aging and their relevance to health and disease. Specifically, discussion focused on (1) current data on age-related changes in sleep organization and sleep-dependent memory processing, (2) evidence for health promotion in older individuals using sleep-based interventions, (3) strategies for assessing and promoting preventive health (sleep) measures in individuals with cognitive impairment and dementias, and (4) biological mechanisms and current evidence relating changes in sleep pattern in aging to cognitive impairment and dementias.

(For more information, please contact Dr. Mack Mackiewicz, DN, (301) 594-7636; mackiewiczm2@mail.nih.gov ).