Sleep disturbances and cognitive decline: recommendations on clinical assessment and the management

Biancamaria Guarnieri, Gianluigi Cerroni, Sandro Sorbi


In 2004, in Genoa (Italy), the Italian Dementia Research Association (SINDem) was born. The first congress of this new scientific society took place in Rome in 2006.

SINDem soon recognized the importance to investigate sleep problems in cognitive decline and created a national “sleep study group “composed by neurologists and sleep specialists.

In 2012, The SINDem study group, in close relationship with the Italian Association of sleep medicine (AIMS), published the study “Prevalence of sleep disturbances in mild cognitive impairment and dementing disorders: a multicenter Italian clinical cross-sectional study on 431 patients “, confirming the high prevalence of sleep disturbances in a wide Italian population of persons with cognitive decline. The study was supported by a grant from the Italian Minister of Health and was conducted with the fundamental contribution of   the Italian National Research Center (CNR).

In 2014, the same group  published the paper  “Recommendations of the Sleep Study Group of the Italian Dementia Research Association (SINDem) on clinical assessment and management of sleep disorders in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and dementia: a clinical review”. The recommendations are  wide and directed   to  professionals (neurologists but not exclusively) to try to  establish uniform levels of care, promote collaborative studies into areas of uncertainty, and define the qualitative characteristics of Dementia Reference Centers about sleep disturbances.


Sleep disorders; Dementia; Sleep recommendations

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