The Alzheimer’s Society has taken issue with a recent study appearing in the European Journal of Neurology that investigated the correlation between sleep patterns and the development of dementia over a 3-year period, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

The study found that older people who reported sleeping for more than 9 hours in each 24-hour period and feeling sleepy during the day were more likely to develop dementia, information from the Alzheimer’s Society stated. Although longer than normal sleep patterns resulted in an increased association with dementia, there was no direct link found between sleeping less than normal (6 hours or less in 24 hours) and developing dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society, a membership organization working to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, issued the following comment in response to the study’s findings.

“This report suggests that sleeping longer than normal and feeling sleepy during the day is a sign of developing dementia. There is no apparent physiological link and it is unlikely that sleeping more than normal is a direct risk factor for dementia. It may be that this is just a statistical coincidence or perhaps that sleeping is an early sign of a yet undiagnosed condition,” stated Susanne Sorensen, MD, head of research for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Sorensen went on to clarify, “As currently only a third of people with dementia ever receive a formal diagnosis, more research is now needed to investigate these results although research is drastically underfunded. One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years. We need to act now.”