Summary of “The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep”

In one landmark experiment, Holtzman toyed with mice’s sleep right when the animals’ brain would normally begin to clear A-beta.
Researchers from Germany and Israel reported in 2015 in Nature Neuroscience that slow-wave sleep – the deep sleep that occupies the brain most during a long snooze and is thought to be involved in memory storage – was disrupted in mice that had A-beta deposits in their brains.
At the study’s start, participants answered questions about their sleep quality and received brain scans looking for plaque deposits.
People who reported excessive daytime sleepiness – a telltale sign of fitful sleep – had more plaques in their brains to start with.
“Five percent from one night of sleep deprivation is far from trivial.” And while the brain can likely recover with a good night’s sleep, the question is: What happens when sleep deprivation is a pattern night after night, year after year?
Flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a mouse’s brain is much higher during sleep than when the animal is awake.
Using data from almost 2,500 people in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that people with sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea showed signs of mild cognitive problems and Alzheimer’s disease at younger ages than those who did not.
“If we find out that sleep problems contribute to brain amyloid – what that really says is there may be a window to intervene,” Bendlin says.

The orginal article.