Scientists discover new link between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s Disease

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Scientists discover new link between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists discover new link between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s Disease

In this ever-hectic world, sleep has become increasingly elusive. Many experience various types of side effects due to being deprived of sleep, such as weight gain, issues with memory, and a weakened immune system. Over time, these issues can lead to much more significant and detrimental effects on one’s health.

Most recently, a group of scientists linked sleep deprivation to Alzheimer’s Disease. In an interview with NPR, Jeffrey Iliff, a scientist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, stated that “changes in sleep habits may actually be setting the stage” for dementia.

Although scientists once believed that it was the disease itself that led to sleep disorders, it has been brought to light that amyloid plaques, “largely insoluble deposits of a toxic protein peptide called beta-amyloid,” develop more quickly in sleep-deprived mice.

The brain clears out these proteins and other toxins linked to Alzheimer’s during sleep. Iliff further explains that “the fluid that’s normally on the outside of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid — it’s a clean, clear fluid — it actually begins to recirculate back into and through the brain along the outsides of blood vessels.”

Iliff and his team are set to conduct a study on human subjects. They will likely utilize the world’s most powerful MRI, which is housed at the University in Portland, to strengthen the connection between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Crystal Perry, MS, LMHC, LPC has been working in the clinical field for over a decade. She has helped to empower individuals to think critically and creatively to solve problems and help improve their lives. Perry has applied these clinical skills in multiple agencies with every population from infants to older adults. She has used these experience to be a state office expert mental health treatment. Her training in clinical practice and art therapy has afforded her the opportunity to understand all aspects of mental health and wellness.

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