Animal research indicates that the brain uses sleep to remove metabolic waste products, including those linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as reported in the journal Science. Sleep is vital and the data keeps coming in to back it up.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center used advanced imaging technology to examine the brains of mice during sleep. They found that brain cells contract significantly during sleep, expanding the area between cells by as much as 60 percent. This increase in the space between cells enables greater flow of cerebrospinal fluid, increasing the removal of beta-amyloid proteins. The accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain is believed to be a primary contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a leading cause of dementia in the elderly.
Read the summary at Swanson Health Products, Sleep Helps Detoxify the Brain. or read the source summary from the journal Science (Lulu X, Hongyi K, et al. Sleep Drives Metabolic Clearance from the Adult Brain. Science. 2013 October; 342 (6156):373-377. doi: 10.1126/science.1241224.)[Image source: Flickr: Above, feature]