Something as simple as a sleepless night, increases Alzheimer’s brain proteins. This finding brings strength to an old idea that suggested that irregular sleep could have a connection with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Scientists have been able to prove that irregular sleep is directly associated with increased values of two of the Alzheimer’s associated proteins, according to researchers at Washington University, and the absence of a regular pattern of sleep during youth may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as you age.
Alzheimer’s disease is largely characterized by memory loss, and a gradual cognitive decline affects millions of people around the world, and the most alarming, is that the death rate from Alzheimer’s has increased about 55 percent in the last 15 years.
Although it has not been possible to detect what is behind the terrible disease, the brain proteins Amyloid beta and Tau have been identified as being linked to the disease, and as key parts in it.
This finding complements earlier research that concluded that there was a clear connection between irregular sleep and cognitive deficit, which includes Alzheimer’s, but these new data provide greater certainty about the influence of rest times on the disease, and have found that a simple non sleep night is enough to increase the amount of Amyloid beta protein in the brain, and that a week of similar nights also increases the amount of Tau protein.
There was no great astonishment on the part of scientists as to whether the Tau protein only showed an increase over a longer period, due to the fact that it is known to you that Amyloid beta varies most rapidly.
The study followed 17 adults between the ages of 35 and 65, with no history of chronic sleep problems, who were monitored through activity monitors for two weeks, after which the scientists resorted to a sleep lab (a dark room with a good bed and sound and temperature variations proof), and applied electrodes to the skull in order to monitor their brain activity as well as headphones to disturb their sleep patterns.
Half of the participants, to whom sleep was deliberately interrupted during the deep sleep phase, complained upon awakening that they felt tired but could not remember waking up.
Of course, one night at a time poorly slept, although not healthy, will not be the cause behind Alzheimer’s, but people who suffer from this problem chronically, will have according to the study, a much higher probability of developing the disease.