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Sleep Loss Linked to Alzheimer’s

February 17, 2012

Chronic sleep deprivation in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease makes Alzheimer’s brain plaques appear earlier and more often, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

They also found that orexin, a protein that helps regulate the sleep cycle, appears to be directly involved in the increase.

“Orexin or compounds it interacts with may become new drug targets for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” says senior author David M. Holtzman, M.D., the Andrew and Gretchen Jones Professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine and neurologist-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “The results also suggest that we may need to prioritize treating sleep disorders not only for their many acute effects but also for potential long-term impacts on brain health.”

This is also a nod in the direction of the InnOrbit functional drink CALM&RELAX which soothes sleep (and is 100% Natural).

The researchers note that not only does the risk of Alzheimer’s increase with age, the sleep/wake cycle also starts to break down, with older adults progressively getting less and less sleep.  Investigators are considering epidemiological studies of whether chronic sleep loss in young and middle-aged adults increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

 

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