September 29, 2009
Amyloid Beta Builds Up While Awake And Declines In Sleep
A protein implicated in as a cause of Alzheimer's Disease increases in mice while they are away and declines while they are asleep. The implication here is that people who do not get enough sleep may be at increased risk of Alzheimer's.
While the occasional all-nighter to cram for exams or finish a grant proposal may seem like no big deal, losing sleep night after night could take its toll on brain health in later life, two new studies suggest. Based on microdialysis experiments in live mice, Dave Holtzman, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and colleagues report in the current issue of Science that extracellular amyloid-beta levels in the brain fall during slumber and rise with wakefulness. They discovered that these Abeta dynamics rely on the hormone orexin, and that forcing animals to sleep or stay awake decreases or increases Abeta plaque formation accordingly in a mouse model for Alzheimer disease.
Lack of sleep increases inflammation and inflammation is also implicated in Alzheimer's. Lack of sleep also puts on the weight and increases obesity. This accelerates aging. So get lots of sleep. It is good for your brain.
My father died of Alzheimer's last year. He was a bomber pilot (Lancasters) in World War II. His plane was shot down by a night fighter over Germany but he made his way successfully to Holland and kept out of the German's hands with the help of the Dutch underground. However, he was betrayed by one of a series of contacts in Belgium and ended up in a Nazi prison in Brussels (St Giles). He escaped again while they were transporting him back to Germany and made his way back to England in relatively good shape, but he never slept well the remainder of life, from that time on. He was otherwise very fit.
What about naps? I wonder if they have efficacy in reducing the Amyloid-B protein.
We must study ever possible correlation to Alzheimer's with great interest. There are a many preventative measures against Alzheimer’s one of which is called the Okinawa method created by the village in Okinawa that has the most numbers of centenarian (people over 100) in the world. It promotes wellness, memory exercise and good health which has proven to reduce Alzheimer’s and dementia and also add extra years to your life. I know that there’s a program for home care based on the Okinawa method called the balanced care method.