Sleep deprivation can trigger increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. The latest research reports that a single sleepless night can cause the build-up of a protein that is linked to this terrifying health condition.
The first study to show brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s following a sleepless night
A study involving 20 individuals found that a night without sleep increases the beta-amyloid protein in a part of the brain by 5%, according to the Daily Mail.
People with mild memory loss have 21% more of this compound in the brains compared to healthy seniors. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have 43% more beta-amyloid in their brain.
This is the first study to show the effects on the brain after a sleepless night that could trigger the disease.
Beta-amyloid effects on the brain
Sleep is essential to eliminate this compound which can form clumps in the brain that block essential pathways for memory.
It’s not clear yet whether these effects persist long term after the sleepless night or just the day after.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, said that “Often brain changes seen in animals are not replicated in humans, so this is interesting. The increase in beta-amyloid we saw in the brains of people who were sleep-deprived is likely to be a destructive process. A reasonable prediction based on these results would be that poorer sleep habits create a risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”
“There is growing evidence of a link between disrupted sleep and Alzheimer’s disease.“
Sleep plays an essential role in the natural waste disposal system
Sleep is essential for the body’s self-cleaning system that clears all potentially harmful material including amyloid-beta in the brain.
“There is growing evidence of a link between disrupted sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is difficult to tease apart cause and effect to determine whether sleep problems might cause Alzheimer’s brain changes or vice-versa.” Said Dr. David Reynolds, chief scientific at the charity at Alzheimer’s Research in the UK.
This study suggests that only a sleepless night is enough to raise levels of the protein that leads the way to Alzheimer’s and the results highlight the importance of sleep to prevent the build-up on this protein in our brains.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.