Alzheimer’s disease linked to poor sleep – medicine
There is a direct link between Alzheimer’s disease and poor quality of sleep: this was demonstrated and explained for the first time by research conducted by the Sleep Medicine Center of the Molinette Hospital of the City of Health in Turin and of the Capital University of Piedmontese.
They examined the effect of disturbed sleep on mice that are genetically predisposed to deposition of beta-amyloid, a protein that irreversibly damages an animal’s cognitive functions, even when they are young. The work has been published in the international scientific journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications.
The only sleep fragmentation obtained by inducing short awakenings without adjusting for total sleep time, for one month (approximately corresponding to three years of human life), is detrimental to the functioning of the glymphatic system, increasing deposition of the protein involved. The centre, directed by Alessandro Seccolin, and the Neuroscience Institute of Ottolenghi Cavalieri (NICO) with Michela Guglielmoto, both affiliated with the University of Turin’s Rita Levi-Montalcini Department of Neuroscience, collaborated on the work.
It is known that nighttime rest in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is often disturbed to a true reflection of the sleep-wake rhythm, but it has also been noted that sleep disturbances themselves (eg sleep deprivation, insomnia, apnea) can be negative. affect the course of the disease. In patients with sleep disturbances, both quantitatively and qualitatively, there is an increased deposition of a protein (beta-amyloid) involved in the genesis of Alzheimer’s disease. The study showed that this increase depends on reducing its secretion by the glymphatic system, the “cleaning system” of the brain, which is particularly active during deep sleep.
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