How Does Sleep Affect Dementia?

How does sleep clear away a protein linked to Alzheimer's Disease?...
21 July 2017
Presented by Chris Smith


Alzheimer's Disease is a common form of dementia. It usually affects older people and progressively robs them of their mental faculties. It occurs because a protein called beta amyloid builds up in the brain forming harmful deposits called plaques, which are toxic to nerve cells. However, the brain naturally makes beta amyloid all the time but seems to wash most of it away when we go to sleep. So which aspects of sleep are important for this clean-up process, and what are the implications for people who are chronically poor sleepers? At Washington University, in St Louis, Yo-El Ju recruited a small group of volunteers to answer this question, as Chris Smith found out…


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