Sleep Disorders and Intracranial Pressure in Elders with Alzheimer Disease

Senior Caucasian man sleeping in bed
Researchers investigated whether alterations in the intracranial pressure of patients with Alzheimer disease are related to presence of sleep disorders.

There may be a correlation between T2/T1 in night behavior in elders with Alzheimer disease (AD), according to study results published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Since sleep disorders have been found to have a strong correlation with AD derivations, early diagnosis and interventions could improve quality of life for this population. Study researchers sought to investigate whether there are alterations in the intracranial pressure of elder patients with both AD and sleep disorders compared with patients with only AD.

Investigators utilized data from the Ambulatory of Cognitive‐Behavioural Neurology (ANEC) at Universidade Federal de São Carlos in Brazil. The study cohort was predominantly women. The most common Clinical Dementia Rating was 3 in the patients with AD, which suggested more advanced dementia.

The full group exhibited a correlation between T2/T1 (P =.01/ρ=-0.42) that was verified as dimensions that assessed awakening and/or and rising during the night (P =.04/ρ=-0.36).

There were no correlations between the intracranial pressure assessments and other study variables. Results were different, however, when patients were separated into groups with and without sleep disorders compared to the general assessment.

This study was limited by its restricted sample size as a larger sample size may have produced different results.

“Although no difference between patients with AD and TS was found in the assessment of the ICP morphology, there was a difference between the groups with AD and without AD. Similar studies should consider expansion and evaluation within different contexts,” the study researchers concluded.


Ribeiro EB, Ramos CF, Vale FAC, Frigieri G. Clinical assessment of sleep disorders in elders with Alzheimer’s disease and their relationship with intracranial pressure using a non-invasive method. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Published online December 7, 2020. doi:10.1002/alz.043625