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For years, poor sleep has been linked to a host of medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders and even alcohol dependency. Now a new study published in SLEEP suggests there may be an even bigger problem to worry about: a shrinking and weakening brain.
The study, conducted by researchers from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, focused on a group of 66 Chinese adults. Every two years, the participants were asked to take a sleep questionnaire, as well as MRI scans and neuropsychological assessments. The result: People who had trouble sleeping had “greater age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline” than those who rested well every night.