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Alzheimer’s disease linked to circadian rhythm – new research in mice

0 2 years ago

A good night’s sleep has always been linked to better mood and better health. Now, scientists have even more evidence of just how much sleep – and more specifically our circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep cycle – is linked to certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. A team of researchers from the United States have found further evidence that the cells which help keep the brain healthy and prevent Alzheimer’s disease also follow a circadian rhythm.

Our circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that follows a 24-hour cycle. It controls everything from sleep, digestion, appetite and even immunity. Things like outside light, when we eat our meals and physical activity all work to keep our circadian rhythm in sync. But even small things like staying up a bit later than normal, or even eating at a different time than we’re used to can knock this internal “clock” out of whack.

It’s important for our circadian rhythm to work properly, as disruption to this cycle is linked to a number of health problems, including mental health disorders, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Research shows that for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, circadian rhythm disruptions are usually seen as changes in a patient’s sleep habits that happen long before the disorder fully manifests. This is something that gets worse in the later stages of the disease. However it’s not yet fully understood whether poor sleep causes Alzheimer’s, or if it happens as a result of the disease.


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