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17/7/2019  
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HEALTH
Restorative funtions of sleep

Sleep removes brain toxins responsible for Alzheimer´s disease and other neurologica disoders

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. One of the most famous prints of Goya

Scientists have long speculated that one of the functions of sleep is to restore and repair the brain, but whether this is a "core" purpose of sleep remains controversial. Now, a paper published in Science this month provides direct experimental evidence that the mouse brain cleans itself during sleep.
Redacción 22/10/2013 Send to a friend
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The purpose of sleep is a question that has captivated both philosophers and scientists since the time of the ancient Greeks. Hypnos was the God of Sleep in Greek mythology. He is usually depicted in myth and literature as a gentle, benevolence God who brings the restorative gift of sleep to mortals and Gods alike.

While recent findings have shown that sleep can help store and consolidate memories, these benefits don’t appear to outweigh the accompanying vulnerability, leading scientists to speculate that there must be a more essential function to the sleep-wake cycle.

The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep serves a vital function. According to the researchers of the University of Rochescher sleep has a critical function in ensuring metabolic homeostasis.



Using real-time assessments of tetramethylammonium diffusion and two-photon imaging in live mice, they showed that natural sleep or anesthesia are associated with a 60% increase in the interstitial space, resulting in a striking increase in convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. In turn, convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep. Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system. As a result our system that removes toxins from the brain is primarily active during sleep.

Published in the journal Science, the study reveals that the brain’s unique method of waste removal is highly active during sleep, clearing away toxins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

Furthermore, the researchers found that during sleep the brain’s cells reduce in size, allowing waste to be removed more effectively.


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