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

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