WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Even staying up a night’s night for healthy young people can lead to an increase in Alzheimer’s biomarkers in the blood of the body, Swedish researchers have found. The paper was published in the American Journal of Neurology.
Swedish researchers selected 15 healthy men with an average age of 22 and a normal weight, who usually maintained seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep. The results showed that the average amount of Tau protein in the blood increased by 17 percent after the subjects were deprived of a night’s sleep (sitting in bed in light, playing games, watching movies or chatting), while the average Tau protein in the blood increased by only 2 percent after a full night of sleep.
A pathological change in Alzheimer’s patients is excessive phosphorylation of Tau protein in the brain, which accumulates in cells to form a neuronal fiber entanglement, which is closely associated with nerve cell death and cognitive dysfunction. Previous studies have shown that older people have increased tau protein levels in their cerebrospinal fluid after sleep deprivation, and head trauma also increases Tau protein levels in the blood.
Co-author Jonathan Sedness of Uppsala University in Sweden said an increase in tau protein levels in the blood may mean an increase in the level of Tau protein in the brain, but it may also be that tau protein produced by neural activity is removed from the brain. Further research is therefore needed to determine whether irregular sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.