The constant desire to NAP during the day can be one of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, found researchers from the University of California in San Francisco.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which leads to complete loss of cognitive skills.
A new study says that first and foremost, patients suffer from the brain cells responsible for wakefulness, so they are constantly experiencing drowsiness.
This is a symptom doctors have noticed much earlier. But it was thought that people with dementia sleep during the day after a night tormented by insomnia. Was observed the reverse causality: poor sleep leads to deterioration of health.
The authors of the new scientific work has revealed a more direct biological path between Alzheimer’s disease and daytime drowsiness.
They analyzed the brain 13 people with this form of dementia and seven people who have Alzheimer’s do not suffer.
Special attention is paid to the area that controls wakefulness: the blue spot (locus coeruleus), the lateral hypothalamic area and tuberomamillary core.
It turned out that patients with dementia the number of neurons in these areas was 75% lower, and the level of tangles of Tau protein (a clear sign of the disease) significantly increased.
Scientists have concluded that in the early stages of the disease is not a single core, and the whole brain network associated with arousal and wakefulness.
“The brain is not able to compensate for the loss, because all of these functionally related cell types are destroyed at the same time,” said the study’s lead author June O.
The researchers also found that other forms of dementia (e.g., corticobasal degeneration) even with the accumulation of the Tau protein in the neurons associated with the waking state, do not suffer.
“It seems that the network is conducive to awakening, is particularly vulnerable in Alzheimer’s disease. In future studies we will try to determine why this is happening,” – said experts.