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Brain inflammation may link Alzheimer’s risk and sleep disturbance

Selectively disrupted fast sleep spindles have been identified in normal aging as well as preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Photo: Pexels

(Pat Harriman/ Futurity) — The findings may aid early detection and prevention efforts by identifying novel treatment targets at preclinical stages.

Brain inflammation, sleep disturbance, and disrupted brain waves have all been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but the interactions among them have not been investigated until now.

The study in the journal Sleep examined whether inflammation had any effect on specific brain waves called fast sleep spindles, which have been shown to promote long-term memory retention.

“Our findings indicate that age-related increases in brain inflammation have a downstream effect on Alzheimer’s disease-related tau proteins and neuronal synaptic integrity,” says lead and co-corresponding author Bryce Mander, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine. (…)