Sleepless nights may lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease over time, a study of mice suggests.
Rodents forced to stay awake showed a buildup in their brains of a protein associated with the development of Alzheimer's in humans, said lead study authoer Jae-Eun Kang. The research was published today in the journal Science.
Kang said additional research in humans may explore whether chronic sleep loss in young and middle-age adults increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life. About 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's, according to the Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association advocacy group. There is no cure. Drugs sold in the US can ease symptoms for about a year.
"The hope would be to show that treating sleep problems in humans is important not just for the immediate effect of having a normal life...