Alzheimer's Disease
5:30 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Changes in marker for Alzheimer's linked to sleep cycle

Micrograph of amyloid beta plaques in the brain, as may be seen in Alzheimer disease.
(Via Wikimedia Commons user Nephron)

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown a relationship between daily sleep patterns and a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that levels of the beta amyloid protein in spinal fluid increased during waking hours and decreased during sleep.

Wash U neurologist Randall Bateman says that pattern was strongest in young, healthy test subjects. It lessened in people over sixty, and disappeared altogether in Alzheimer’s patients.

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