Study using PET links poor sleep to toxic buildup of Alzheimer’s protein, memory loss

June 1, 2015

Sleep may be a missing piece in the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle.

UC Berkeley scientists have found compelling evidence that poor sleep — particularly a deficit of the deep, restorative slumber needed to hit the save button on memories — is a channel through which the beta-amyloid protein believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease attacks the brain’s long-term memory.

“Our findings reveal a new pathway through which Alzheimer’s disease may cause memory decline later in life,” said UC Berkeley neuroscience professor Matthew Walker, senior author of the study published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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