Some brain activity 'could increase Alzheimer's plaques'

Posted on 03 May 2011

The brain regions most affected by Alzheimer's tend to be those which are the most active during periods of rest in sufferers, who may be paying for long term care.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have now found that high activity in these brain regions could boost the levels of Alzheimer's plaques.

Busier brain cells have been seen to both contribute to and prevent the condition, according to the research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

David M Holtzman, head of the department of neurology at the institute, explained that sleep deprivation and increased stress could potentially increase activity levels in these sections of the brain.

"Engaging the brain in tasks like reading, socialising or studying may be helpful because they reduce activity in susceptible regions and increase activity in regions that seem to be less vulnerable to Alzheimer's plaque deposition," he said.

In other news, the disturbed sleep patterns commonly found in Alzheimer's patients could be due to alteration of circadian rhythm in the brain, it has been revealed by researchers at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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