Lack of Sleep Linked to Alzheimer’s

A lack of sleep could help toxic plaques develop in the brain, accelerating the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. David Holtzman looked at how sleep affected the levels of beta-amyloid protein in mice and humans. This protein causes plaques to build up in the brain, which some think cause Alzheimer’s disease by killing cells. Holtzman’s group found that beta-amyloid levels were higher in mouse brains when the mice were awake than when they were sleeping. Lack of sleep also had an effect on plaque levels: when the mice were sleep-deprived — forced to stay awake for 20 hours of the day — they developed more plaques in their brains

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