Are your residents who do not have dementia excessively sleepy during the daytime? If so, then they may be at risk for an increased accumulation of a brain protein that is a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.

So suggests a newly published study in JAMA Neurology.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, studied 283 adults aged 70 or more years (mean age at the beginning of the study was 77.1 years) who had completed surveys assessing their own sleepiness and had at least two brain scans between 2009 and 2016. They found that 63 of the study participants, or 22.3%, were excessively sleepy at the beginning of the study and that excessive sleepiness was associated with increased accumulation of beta-amyloid in certain areas of their brains, “suggesting that those with [excessive daytime sleepiness] may be more vulnerable to pathologic changes associated with Alzheimer disease.”

Although more research is needed, the investigators said, “Early identification of patients with [excessive daytime sleepiness] and treatment of underlying sleep disorders could reduce [beta-amyloid] accumulation in this vulnerable group.”