PerspectiveNEURODEGENERATION

Sleep well to slow Alzheimer's progression?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  22 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6429, pp. 813-814
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw5583

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Although sleep disturbances are commonly reported in people with dementia (1), whether this is a cause or a consequence of the disease is unclear. Evidence is mounting that alterations to normal sleep patterns affect disease progression, promoting the appearance of β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau aggregates that are progressively deposited in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Human and mouse studies support a role for sleep in curbing the accumulation of Aβ (2, 3); however, tau aggregates are more closely associated with synaptic degeneration and clinical symptoms of AD (4). On page 880 of this issue, Holth et al. (5) provide direct evidence that disrupting sleep, or stimulating excitatory neurons in brain nuclei that control wakefulness and arousal, promotes the release and spread of damaging tau aggregates across the brains of mice, and that sleep deprivation leads to increased extracellular Aβ and tau in people.