Sleep 'could affect Alzheimer's'

Posted on 27 September 2011

A marker for Alzheimer's disease rises and falls during the sleep-wake cycle, according to researchers studying the neurodegenerative disease which affects many with long term care plans.

In the study, published online in journal Archives of Neurology, it was found that the brain's relative inactivity during sleep could provide an opportunity to finish clearing away amyloid beta - a marker of the neurodegenerative condition.

The body clears amyloid beta from the brain through spinal fluid, as well as through other mechanisms.

This pattern was observed to be strongest in healthy young people, and supports previous findings which uncovered a link between increased Alzheimer's risk and inadequate sleep discovered in animal models.

Stephen Duntley, of Washinton University, commented: "It's recently become apparent that prolonged sleep disruption and deprivation can actually play an important role in pathological processes that underlie diseases."

This follows research published in journal Neurology which found that people with diabetes were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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