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Speech & Language Alzheimer's Disease Sleep

Lack of Sleep Compromises the Brain

9 years, 11 months ago

15798  0
Posted on Jun 25, 2014, 6 a.m.

After a night of no sleep, even a healthy brain has elevated levels of amyloid-beta, the protein that characterizes Alzheimer’s Disease.

A defining characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease is an accumulation in the brain of the amyloid-beta protein. Jurgen Claassen, from Radboud University Medical Center (The Netherlands), and colleagues enrolled 26 middle-aged men with normal sleep habits to have their protein levels measured before and after sleep, or a lack of it.  In a monitored clinic setting, half of the men were randomly assigned to sleep the night, while the other half were kept awake.  The researchers found that the men who got a good night’s sleep had amyloid-beta levels in their spinal fluid about 6%  lower in the morning, as compared to when they had gone to bed. The men who were kept awake all night had no change in their amyloid-beta levels.  The quality of sleep men got was also linked to how much of a decrease in amyloid-beta was measured.  The study authors submit that: “Sleep deprivation, or prolonged wakefulness, interferes with a physiological morning decrease in [amyloid-beta protein]. We hypothesize that chronic sleep deprivation increases cerebral [amyloid-beta protein] levels, which elevates the risk of Alzheimer disease"

Ooms S, Overeem S, Besse K, Rikkert MO, Verbeek M, Claassen JA.  “Effect of 1 Night of Total Sleep Deprivation on Cerebrospinal Fluid β-Amyloid 42 in Healthy Middle-Aged Men: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”  JAMA Neurol. 2014 Jun 2.

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