Tags: Alzheimers Sleep Research If You Dont Snooze You Lose

Alzheimer's Sleep Research: If You Don't Snooze You May Lose

Image: Alzheimer's Sleep Research: If You Don't Snooze You May Lose
Cast members from the "The Big Bang Theory" television series take the stage at the 23rd annual A Night at Sardi's benefit for the Alzheimer's Association in Beverly Hills, California. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 06:27 AM

New Alzheimer's disease research suggests poor sleep may allow beta-amyloid protein to create a "pathway" for the disease to damage the brain's long-term memory, according to work presented Monday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

Dr. Matthew Walker, of the University of California, Berkeley, presented the findings that linked amyloid levels to sleep and memory at the conference in Washington, D.C., reported The Associated Press.

"It's very clear that sleep disruption is an under appreciated factor," said Walker. "It's a new player on the scene that increases risk of Alzheimer's disease."

Walker was the senior author of a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience in June that went into detail how the lack of restorative sleep provided a way for the protein to start harming the brain, according to a university statement.

Walker said that with the help better sleep, enhanced by exercise, behavioral therapy and even electrical stimulation that amplifies brain waves during sleep, the study give promise in helping people starve off the disease.

"Our findings reveal a new pathway through which Alzheimer's disease may cause memory decline later in life," said Walker. "This discovery offers hope. Sleep could be a novel therapeutic target for fighting back against memory impairment in older adults and even those with dementia."

The UC study echoed work done in 2013 linking lack of sleep as a possible gateway culprit to Alzheimer's, cited by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation.

Researchers who were part of an ongoing study by the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging tested 70 adults average age 76.

The findings, which were published in the science journal JAMA Neurology, revealed that individuals who got under five hours of sleep had higher levels of beta-amyloid in the brain than those who slept over seven hours a night, noted a Fisher Center website post.

The UC study noted that a buildup of beta-amyloid has been found in both Alzheimer's patients and, independently, in people reporting sleep disorders.

"Sleep is helping wash away toxic proteins at night, preventing them from building up and from potentially destroying brain cells," said Walker. "It's providing a power cleanse for the brain."

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New Alzheimer's disease research suggests poor sleep may allow beta-amyloid protein to create a "pathway" for the disease to damage the brain's long-term memory, according to work presented Monday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.
Alzheimers Sleep Research If You Dont Snooze You Lose
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2015-27-21
Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 06:27 AM
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