Evaluating the Bidirectional Causal Association Between Daytime Napping and Alzheimer's Disease Using Mendelian Randomization

J Alzheimers Dis. 2022;89(4):1315-1322. doi: 10.3233/JAD-220497.


Background: Until now, both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have identified controversial findings about the association between daytime napping and Alzheimer's disease (AD) or cognitive decline. Therefore, it remains unclear about the causal association between daytime napping and AD or cognitive decline.

Objective: We aim to investigate the causal association between daytime napping and AD.

Methods: Here, we conduct a bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to investigate the causal association between daytime napping and AD using large-scale GWAS datasets from daytime napping including 452,633 individuals of European ancestry and AD including 35,274 AD and 59,163 controls of European ancestry. A total of five MR methods are selected including inverse-variance weighted (IVW), weighted median, MR-Egger, MR-PRESSO, and contamination mixture method.

Results: MR analysis highlights significant causal association of AD with daytime napping using IVW (beta = -0.006, 95% CI [-0.009, -0.002], p = 2.00E-03), but no significant causal association of daytime napping with AD using IVW (OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.53-1.10, p = 1.40E-01).

Conclusion: Our bidirectional MR analysis demonstrates the causal effect of AD on daytime napping. However, there is no causal effect of daytime napping on AD. Our current findings are consistent with recent evidence from other MR studies that highlight little evidence supporting a causal effect of sleep traits on AD and support the causal effect of AD on sleep traits.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Mendelian randomization; daytime napping; genome-wide association study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Mendelian Randomization Analysis* / methods
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sleep / genetics