Sleep link to Alzheimer's?

September 25, 2009 9:18:14 AM PDT
A lack of sleep might play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The link between sleep and dementia was discovered in a study of mice.

Researchers in St. Louis tracked amyloid beta in lab mice. That's a protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

The levels of the protein rose while the mice were awake and fell when they slept. Researchers say that indicates a need to treat sleep disorders early, because sleep deprivation may have a long term effect on brain health.

The study was published in the journal Science.