Good sleep quality could be the key to preventing Alzheimer’s

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The best way to prevent the onset ofAlzheimer’s And get a good sleep. This is explained by a new study by the American Rensselear Polytechnic Institute according to which the circadian rhythm of people plays an essential role inremoval of a protein able to accumulate in the brain and potentially cause forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form, accounting for 50-80% of cases. In Italy they are diagnosed at least 70 thousand cases every year.

Specifically, the study found that healthy sleep habitsas well as the ability to avoid interruptions in rest, support the brain in the work of eliminating the beta-amyloid peptide 42 (AB42). It is the major constituent of amyloid (or senile) plaques and originates from the APP protein (Amyloid Precursor Protein). In Alzheimer’s patients, previous studies had indeed revealed that the increase in levels of AB42 in the brain is just one of them telltale signs of the onset of the disease. The new study found that maintaining a healthy circadian cycle increases the immune system’s ability to clear harmful proteins from the brain.

“Circadian regulation of immune cells plays a role in the intricate relationship between the circadian clock and Alzheimer’s disease,” he explained. Jennifer Hurleyexpert in circadian rhythms and associate professor of biological sciences, in a statement from the university – this tells us that healthy sleep could be important to relieve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and this beneficial effect could be imparted by a type of immune cell called macrophages / microglia. ‘ It is about the macrophages residing within the central nervous system which has long been known to be involved, together with other cells such as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, in the pathogenesis of diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.

This new study, published a few days ago in Plos Genetics, found that macrophages help clear the brain of AB42 by ingesting this protein in a process that scientists call phagocytosis. It was already known from previous investigations that the RNA levels of macrophages and proteins they oscillate according to the circadian rhythm. The investigation identified several fluctuations in some enzymes involved in the production of two proteins found on the surface of macrophage cells: the proteoglycan heparan sulfate and the proteoglycan chondroitin sulfate. According to the researchers a smaller amount of these proteinslinked to an appropriate circadian rhythm, it contributes to the ability of macrophages to effectively eliminate AB42 from the brain. When there are too many, macrophages work worse.

“What is clear is that all this balance is managed by the circadian clock – concluded Hurley – when there are many of these proteoglycans on the cell surface, macrophages do not ingest AB42. We are not sure why, but there is definitely a relationship ». If we were able to improve rest and therefore the circadian rhythm we could also be in a position to improve that relationship and finally the work of cleaning the macrophages of the central nervous system.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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