Bad sleep may predict Alzheimer's, says study(BBC News)
Levels of the beta amyloid protein naturally rise and fall over 24
hours in both mice and people. However, the protein forms permanent
plaques in Alzheimer's disease.
Experiments at Washington University showed that nocturnal
mice slept for 40 minutes during every hour of daylight. However, as
soon brain plaques started to form the mice were sleeping for only 30
One of the researchers, Prof David Holtzman, said: "If sleep
abnormalities begin this early in the course of human Alzheimer's
disease, those changes could provide us with an easily detectable sign
of [the disease]."
"If these sleep problems exist, we don't yet know exactly
what form they take, reduced sleep overall or trouble staying asleep or
something else entirely."
However, findings in mice do not always apply to people as there are many reasons for disrupted sleep.