Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Disrupted and inadequate sleep might be indicating towards Alzheimer's disease, study

Disrupted and inadequate sleep might be indicating towards Alzheimer's disease, study Disrupted and inadequate sleep might be indicating towards Alzheimer's disease, study
Johnnie Parks | 06 July, 2017, 15:30

Poor sleep may be an indication of increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, a new study of older people suggests.

Those who reported worse sleep quality, more sleep problems and daytime sleepiness had more biological markers for Alzheimer's disease in their spinal fluid.

This is because they had either a parent with the disease or being a carrier of a gene that increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease called apolipoprotein E (APOE).

In healthy brains, tau acts as a stabiliser, but when the proteins become defective, they can form into bundles of tangled filaments, which are thought to impede communication between brain cells, leading to the neurodegeneration and reduced cognitive ability seen in conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

In the new study, researchers led by the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in the United Kingdom extracted tau protein filaments from the brain of a deceased patient with a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and imaged them using a technique called called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

The study compared the spinal fluid to the sleep problems that are self-reported by the participants of the study. "There is now no cure, but studies like this give us hope that research will deliver better treatments for people with Alzheimer's disease".

"It's clear that tau is extremely important to the progression of Alzheimer's disease and certain forms of dementia".

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"Not everyone with sleep problems is destined to develop Alzheimer's disease", said the senior author, Barbara B. Bendlin, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

If you have trouble sleeping, try having some sleep inducing foods like banana, a glass of warm milk, few almonds or a teaspoon of honey just before going to bed.

One in three Americans doesn't get enough sleep, and 45% of the world's population doesn't, either. While tau filaments are formed within the nerve cells of the brain, beta amyloid proteins are formed outside the nerve cells in the form of filaments. Depositing of this particular protein in the brain is the actual first known preclinical stage of Alzheimer's that happens before any visible symptoms appear.

According to co researchers Dr Michel Goedert this was the first time a high resolution structure from human brain tissue was determined for these debilitating diseases.

She added that doctors should encourage adults to improve the quality of their sleep to reduce the number of Alzheimer's sufferers in the future. "It may be possible that early intervention for people at risk of Alzheimer's disease may prevent or delay the onset of the disease", Dr. Endlin said in a statement. It may be that poor sleep interferes with this process in people, too.

In the meantime, Bendlin said further research is needed to solidify the risks of sleep deprivation in increasing the risks of Alzheimer's disease.

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