Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Elsevier, Handbook of Sleep Disorders in Medical Conditions, 2019, Pages 253-276
Chenlu Gao, Michael K. Scullin, Donald L. Bliwise

The world is experiencing a growth in the elderly population. As of 2012, there were 43.2 million people over the age of 65 in the United States alone, and that number is estimated to double by 2050. One of the major costs associated with aging is related to dementia, which affects 35 million people globally and is estimated to cost US$604 billion. Yet, the issue of dementia is escalating. The World Health Organization has estimated that the number of people living with dementia will double by 2030 and triple by 2050.

In this chapter, we will provide an overview of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, with a focus on how sleep and cognition interact in these conditions. Moreover, we will expand on the role of sleep disordered breathing in understanding dementia in older adults and the potential of treating sleep disorders to benefit cognition and quality of life in patients with mild cognitive disorder or dementia. Last, we will outline several future research directions still necessary to understand how sleep disturbances might precede or exacerbate dementia and which sleep treatments are likely to be feasible, acceptable, and efficacious in patients with cognitive impairment.