LONDON, Sept 6 (KUNA) -- Problems of sleeping may be an early sign of
Alzheimer's if a study in mice also applies to people, say researchers
Clumps of protein, called plaques, in the brain are thought to be a key
component of the illness.
A study, published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine", showed
that when plaques first developed, the mice started having disrupted sleep.
Alzheimer's Research UK, a charity, argued that if the link was proven it
could become a useful tool for doctors.
The hunt for early hints that someone is developing Alzheimer's is thought
to be crucial for treating the disease.
People do not show problems with their memory or clarity of thought until
very late on in the disease.
At this point, parts of the brain will have been destroyed, meaning
treatment will be very difficult or maybe even impossible.
It is why researchers want to start early, years before the first symptoms.
Experiments at Washington University showed that nocturnal mice slept for
40 minutes during every hour of daylight, the study highlighted by the BBC
One of the researchers, Prof David Holtzman, said: "If sleep abnormalities
begin this early in the course of human Alzheimer's disease, those changes
could provide us with an easily detectable sign of the disease."
Alzheimer's Research UK, called for more studies in people to see if there
was a link between sleeping patterns and Alzheimer's. (end)
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