Lack of deep sleep may pave way for Alzheimer's, researchers say

January 18, 2016 by Allie Shah, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Credit: Vera Kratochvil/public domain

Forget about needing beauty sleep. It's your brain that may suffer the most from a lack of deep shut eye.

Brain researchers have long noticed a connection between and . More recently, the link between disrupted sleep and an of Alzheimer's disease has been documented by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

It's believed that sleep acts like a dustbin for the brain - cleaning out toxins, including harmful proteins tied to Alzheimer's.

Recent animal studies show sleep's cleansing process in action. But now scientists at Oregon Health & Science University are preparing to conduct a study on humans that would further explain deep sleep's effect on human brains.

Their biggest challenge: finding a minimally invasive way to study the human brain at work while the patient sleeps.

On that note, sweet dreams.

Explore further: The yin and yang of sleep and attention

56 shares

Related Stories

The yin and yang of sleep and attention

January 18, 2016
Being able to pay attention during the day relies on doing the exact opposite at night, according to University of Queensland scientists.

Poor sleep in seniors linked to hardened brain arteries

January 14, 2016
Poor sleep quality in elderly persons is associated with more severe arteriosclerosis in the brain as well as a greater burden of oxygen-starved tissue (infarcts) in the brain - both of which can contribute to the risk of ...

Sleep disturbance linked to amyloid in brain areas affected by Alzheimer's disease

December 9, 2014
Healthy, elderly research participants who report being more sleepy and less rested have higher levels of amyloid deposition in regions of the brain that are affected in Alzheimer's disease, according to a report presented ...

Alzheimer's disease: Plaques impair memory formation during sleep

October 22, 2015
Alzheimer's patients frequently suffer from sleep disorders, mostly even before they become forgetful. Furthermore, it is known that sleep plays a very important role in memory formation. Researchers from the Technical University ...

Studies: Better sleep may be important for Alzheimer's risk

July 20, 2015
To sleep, perchance to... ward off Alzheimer's? New research suggests poor sleep may increase people's risk of Alzheimer's disease, by spurring a brain-clogging gunk that in turn further interrupts shut-eye.

Recommended for you

Newborn babies' brain responses to being touched on the face measured for the first time

November 16, 2018
A newborn baby's brain responds to being touched on the face, according to new research co-led by UCL.

Precision neuroengineering enables reproduction of complex brain-like functions in vitro

November 14, 2018
One of the most important and surprising traits of the brain is its ability to dynamically reconfigure the connections to process and respond properly to stimuli. Researchers from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and the ...

New brain imaging research shows that when we expect something to hurt it does, even if the stimulus isn't so painful

November 14, 2018
Expect a shot to hurt and it probably will, even if the needle poke isn't really so painful. Brace for a second shot and you'll likely flinch again, even though—second time around—you should know better.

A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in newborns

November 14, 2018
A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in babies up to two years earlier than current methods.

New clues to the origin and progression of multiple sclerosis

November 13, 2018
Mapping of a certain group of cells, known as oligodendrocytes, in the central nervous system of a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that they might have a significant role in the development of the disease. The ...

Mutations, CRISPR, and the biology behind movement disorders

November 12, 2018
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan have discovered how mutations related to a group of movement disorders produce their effects. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.