Can sleep play a part in preventing Alzheimer’s?

Preventing Alzheimer’s

Who doesn’t love good night’s sleep? Getting comfy with a bunch of pillows and a soft blanket is all you need after a long hard day. We know how essential sleep is to the human body, but exactly why is it that? 

A study by Laura Lewis from Boston University reveals that there is a link between lack of sleep and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Neurodegenerative diseases are those disorders which deteriorate the nervous system, especially the neurons in the brain.  How does sleep help reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s? 

Consider Watching this video to learn more about the relation between Sleep and Alzheimer’s…

In search of answers, a team of researches gathered 13 participants and studied their brain activity while they snoozed away. They found out that, during deep sleep, several forms of brain waves are released. This also includes slow waves, which are particularly crucial in strengthening memory. Before each slow wave occurs, a pulse of cerebrospinal fluid, also known as CSF, washes over the resting brain. The CSF helps get rid of metabolic waste and toxins. Laura added that it was almost like a large slow washing machine that came in pulses.  

Prior to the pulse of CSF, electrical activity in the neurons was detected.  This electrical wave triggers the flow of CSF, which occurred about every 20 seconds. That particular slow-wave only occurs during non-rapid eye movement sleep, which is a part of the cycle of deep sleep  

Previous studies had shown that those who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease have less of these electrophysiological slow waves. Not only where they fewer but also smaller, which is why Alzheimer’s patients had lesser of the toxins cleansed. Moreover, Alzheimer’s patients tend to get more inadequate sleep, which could be a result of the lack of slow waves.  

The MRI scans also showed that the flow of CSF rose when there was a decrease in blood flow. The changes in the blood volume help to draw CSF in and out of the brain. 

With this knowledge, the research about the relation between the decrease of CSF and Alzheimer’s and other diseases could be made more accessible. This could mean that when these conditions inside the brain can be somehow manipulated and controlled, we could cure neurodegenerative disorders. If not cure, then at least moving towards the cure.  

This study doesn’t just give us an in depth view of the working of the brain, it can also help us understand what causes these changes and what could be done to stop them. Any discovery regarding the human body is revolutionary to the world of medicine as it aids us in comprehending the complex system of our own body. If it weren’t for the scientists and researchers of the world, we’d still be using methods like blood-letting  

Sleep isn’t just a remedy to a bad day, but it could potentially be the cure to Alzheimer’s. Next time you hit the snooze button, do it without regret! 

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!

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