Deep sleep may boost the brain cleaning system, reduce Alzheimer’s risk

Deep sleep may boost the brain cleaning system, reduce Alzheimer’s risk

In a new study, researchers found the depth of sleep could influence the brain’s ability to wash away waste and toxic proteins.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Rochester.

Sleep is critical to the brain’s waste removal system.

Previous studies have shown that sleep often becomes increasingly lighter and more disrupted as we become older.

In the current study, the team examined the sleep of mice that were anesthetized. They tracked brain electrical activity, heart activity, and the cleansing flow in the brain.

With a combination of the drugs ketamine and xylazine (K/X), the team replicated the slow and steady electrical activity in the brain and slow heart rate linked to deep non-REM sleep.

They found the slow and steady brain and cardiopulmonary activity linked to deep sleep were best for the function of the glymphatic system.

The glymphatic system is the brain’s unique process of removing waste.

The disruption of the glymphatic system due to sleep problems could be a driver of Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because the accumulation of toxic proteins such as beta amyloid and tau in the brain are linked to the disease.

The current findings confirm the links between aging, sleep deprivation, and higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It shows that the deeper the sleep the better.

The researchers suggest the quality of sleep or sleep deprivation may help predict the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

They also believe the current findings could help develop sleep therapy or other methods to boost the quality of sleep. Improving sleep could help boost the glymphatic system.

In addition, the findings help explain why some anesthesia could lead to cognitive impairment in older people.

The study suggests classes of drugs that could be used to avoid this phenomenon.

The lead author of the study is Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine.

The study is published in Science Advances.

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Further reading: Science Advances.