Scientists are finally answering the question of how the brain clears toxins when we sleep. A study published by the Boston University in the journal called Science is broadcasting this to the world. The authors have given the human race hope for curing Alzheimer’s and dementia through their findings of treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.
Laura D. Lewis, the biomedical engineer who led the team of researchers who were investigating non-REM sleep, which is dreamless sleep. Studies have been known to point towards rodents having a brain clear of degenerative neurons during REM sleep.
Non-REM sleep is associated with memory retention and takes place early in the night.
When the body is in non-REM sleep, waves of cerebrospinal fluid, a water-like substance, washes over the brain and neurons synchronize. This takes place like an electrical wave that quietens the neurons. This non-firing scenario indicates that lesser blood would flow to the brain so as to allow the fluid to fill and then flush the metabolic byproducts like beta-amyloid.
If this is not cleared, this protein substance can become brain plaque and leads to biochemical activities that conclude in the destruction of synapses.
This breakthrough was achieved by Boston University researchers when they created a study wherein participants got to sleep in an MRI machine while wearing EEG caps. Their brain activity was monitored for electrical currents and metrics such as that. This gives hope for clinical application once the authors are refreshed and ready.
As Lewis said, it isn’t an easy job to watch someone sleep while sacrificing your own!