The Relationship between Sleep and Racial-Ethnic Demographics as Protective Factors against Cognitive Decline
Despite nearly four decades of advocacy and month-long awareness campaigns, Alzheimer's disease (AD) continues to slowly deteriorate the minds of millions of Americans (James et al., 2022). Although genetics accounts for two-thirds of the risk of developing AD, behavioral factors may pose a greater risk (Silva et al., 2019). Certain racial-ethnic groups produce AD preventative proteins in much higher concentrations, whereas others are born into healthier environments (Qin et al., 2021). Behavioral practices such as sleep may reduce AD incidence. Sleep is crucial to the central nervous system and has been linked to halting the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases (Borges et al., 2019). When researching whether self-reported sleep quality was predictive of cognitive decline, sleep was found to be a significant independent predictor of cognitive decline (X2(2) = 677.012, p < 0.001). Similarly, a significant relationship was found (X2(7) =68.20, p < 0.001) between cognitive decline and one’s self-reported race/ethnicity. Additional research can highlight the exact association between each racial-ethnic group and cognitive decline. Further analysis is required to understand the complex role of sleep on cognition and AD incidence.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Neurosciences