What's Happening in the Brain
There are a number of fascinating links between sleep behaviour and Alzheimer's disease . For example, melatonin , which helps set the body's clock and maintain sleep, has been reported to be specifically disrupted in Alzheimer's disease. (Wu YH, Swaab DF. The human pineal gland and melatonin in aging and Alzheimer's disease. J Pineal Res. 2005;38:145-52).
Sleep can also be disrupted following treatment with anti-dementia drugs, including donepezil. Often, however, switching from taking the drug at night to taking it in the morning can alleviate that problem. (Jackson S et al., "The safety and tolerability of donepezil in patients with Alzheimer's disease". Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2004;58 Suppl 1:1-8.)