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Poor sleep pattern may shrink brain: Study

The recent study once again shows the importance of sleep and the effect sleep deprivation can have on brains.

Source : Presstv / 09 Sep 2014

European researchers have identified an association between poor sleep patterns like insomnia and the size of brain.

Researchers examined some 147 adults between the ages of 20 and 84 via two series of MRI scans.

The first scan was taken before patients completed a questionnaire pertaining to their sleep habits, while the second scan was done around three and half years later.

The investigation indicated that 35% of those who experienced the criteria for poor sleep health had a more rapid decline in brain volume during the study than those who slept well.

Researchers also found that the results of poor sleep patterns were even more significant in participants over the age of 60.

The recent study once again shows the importance of sleep and the effect sleep deprivation can have on brains.

Sleep problems can contribute to such brain disorders as Alzheimer's and dementia, experts say.

"Poor sleep can affect our immune systems, our cardiovascular health, weight and, of course, memories. But we still don't know why,” said a neurologist and sleep specialist with Integrated Sleep Services in Alexandria, Virginia Dr. Neal Maru.

"Studies have shown poor sleep can cause protein buildup in the brain that attacks brain cells. So we're still trying to put the puzzle together," Dr. Maru explained.

An earlier study had demonstrated that sleep could also help neurons form minuscule connections between brain cells, known as dendritic spines, that may facilitate long-term memory.

The study also unraveled that sleep could activate brain's own network of plumbing pipes during which waste material is carried out of the brain.

 

 

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