Sleep allows brain to wash out junk

Discovery could lead to better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

By Tina Hesman Saey, 13:55 PM October 24, 2013

Sleep hoses garbage out of the brain, a study of mice finds.

The trash, including pieces of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease, piles up while the rodents are awake. Sleep opens spigots that bathe the brain in fluids and wash away the potentially toxic buildup, researchers report in the Oct. 18 Science.

The discovery may finally reveal why sleep seems mandatory for every animal. It may also shed new light on the causes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s dise...

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