HEALTH

Direct link between Alzheimer's disease and poor sleep quality, study finds

There is a direct link between Alzheimer's and poor sleep quality: demonstrating this and explaining the mechanism for the first time is research by the Centre for Sleep Medicine at the Molinette Hospital of Turin's City of Health and the University of Turin.

The researchers examined the effect of disturbed sleep in mice genetically predisposed to the deposition of beta-amyloid, a protein that irreversibly impairs the animal's cognitive functions even when young.

The work was published in the international scientific journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications.

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The work was published in the international scientific journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications
The researchers examined the effect of disturbed sleep in mice genetically predisposed to the deposition of beta-amyloid, a protein, which irreversibly impairs the animal's cognitive functions even when young.
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Collaborating in the work were the Centre, directed by Alessandro Cicolin, and the Neuroscience Institute of Cavalieri Ottolenghi with Michela Guglielmotto, both belonging to the Rita Levi Montalcini Department of Neuroscience of the University of Turin
The mere fragmentation of sleep by inducing short awakenings without changing the total sleep time, over a period of one month (approximately corresponding to three years of human life), impairs the functioning of the glymphatic system by increasing the deposition of the protein in question.
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The study
It is well known that night rest in patients with Alzheimer's disease is often disturbed to the point of an actual reversal of the sleep-wake rhythm, but it has also been observed that sleep disturbances themselves can negatively influence the course of the disease.
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The study showed that this increase depends on reduced elimination by the glymphatic system, the brain's 'cleaning system', which is particularly active during deep sleep
In patients with disturbed sleep, both in terms of quantity and quality, there is an increase in brain deposition of the protein (beta-amyloid) implicated in the genesis of Alzheimer's disease.
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