Lifestyle

“Study shows healthy sleep may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s” – Miriam Stoppard

A study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biological Sciences looked at how the brain clears a harmful protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease

couple in bed
A new benefit of sleep has been discovered

Practically every function of the body and every organ it contains is part of the 24-hour waking and sleeping rhythm.

In particular, we have recognized the importance of getting sound sleep due to its impact on appetite, weight and insulin sensitivity.

And now a new one benefit of sleep has been uncovered – the possibility that it could help stop Alzheimer’s.

A much-cited reason we sleep is that it gives the brain the time and opportunity to shed a lot of junk.

A study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biological Sciences, in Troy, New York, looked at how the brain breaks down a linked harmful protein Alzheimer Illness.

The results provide a possible explanation for the link between Alzheimer’s disease and sleep disorders.

It is becoming clear that a healthy sleep pattern can be important in alleviating some symptoms of the disease.

In addition, the study suggests that good sleep is important in preventing the protein — known as amyloid-beta 42 (AB42) — from forming destructive clumps in the brain, and could be the basis of potential therapies for Alzheimer’s.

This would mean that during sound sleep, the rogue proteins could be cleared from the brain. You may also be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and your symptoms may be less severe.

Alzheimer’s disease is known to be associated with disruptions in the circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle (body clock) that controls many aspects of our behavior and physiology.

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dr Miriam Stoppard is the medical writer for The Mirror

Previous research has shown that sleep disorders begin years before symptoms appear and are associated with greater disease severity and risk of developing it.

Associate Professor Jennifer Hurley, an expert in circadian rhythms at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says: “Circadian regulation of immune cells plays a role in the complicated relationship between the circadian clock and Alzheimer’s disease.

“This tells us that a healthy sleep pattern may be important in alleviating some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and this beneficial effect may be mediated by an immune cell type called macrophages/microglia.”

Researchers measured the activity of immune cells responsible for clearing AB42 in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that they cleared the AB42 in an oscillating diurnal cycle driven by circadian rhythms.

dr Hurley said, “In theory, if we could crank this rhythm, maybe we could increase clearance of AB42 and prevent damage to the brain.”

The results suggest the possibility that if 24-hour clearance of AB42 can be maintained, patients are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and have less severe symptoms.

Fantastic news.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/study-reveals-sound-sleep-can-26785821 "Study shows healthy sleep may reduce risk of Alzheimer's" - Miriam Stoppard

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