Losing just one night of sleep fuels brain proteins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a new research warned.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, found a worrisome revelation in young, healthy men’s bodies when deprived of sleep, reported Times Now News.
Higher levels of tau, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, were detected in the group’s blood with one cycle of sleep than when they had a full, uninterrupted night of rest.
Tau is a protein found in neurons that can form into tangles. These accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and can start to develop decades before symptoms of the disease appear.
Previous studies of older adults have suggested that sleep deprivation can increase the level of tau in the cerebral spinal fluid. The current new research involved 15 healthy, normal-weight men with an average age of 22. They all reported regularly getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night.
Researchers also looked at four other biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s but there were no changes in levels between a good night of sleep and one night of no sleep.
According to the researchers, when neurons are active, production of tau in the brain is increased. Higher levels in the blood may reflect that these tau proteins are being cleared from the brain or they may reflect elevated tau levels in the brain.
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