A new study shows that a variation in the melatonin receptor 1A gene is linked to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly, reports Science Daily.
A Finnish study published in the SLEEP journal shows that a variation in the melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene is linked to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. The same research team has previously demonstrated that the same genetic variation reduces tolerance to shift work among the working age population.
Alzheimer’s disease is a memory disorder that causes the brain to deteriorate. One of its risk factors is disruption of sleep and the circadian rhythm. Lack of sleep and disruption of the circadian rhythm are common among shift workers. Tolerance to the negative effects of shift work varies between individuals and is partially linked to intrinsic genetic factors.