AD Learning And Memory Loss Problems Mimic Jet Lag

AD Learning And Memory Loss Problems Mimic Jet Lag
Findings from a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed that chemical alterations in brain cells triggered by disruptions in the body’s day-night cycle may be an underlying cause of the memory and learning loss observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study, conducted by University of California researchers, is the first providing evidence that circadian rhythm-altering sleep disturbances identical to jet lag cause alterations in the brain and memory dysfunctions. Patients suffering with AD often have sleep problems or experience alterations in their slumber schedule; however, the cause underlying these disruptions remains poorly understood. These novel findings could lead clinicians to put greater emphasis on the management of sleep patterns in people with mild cognitive impairment as well as in those at risk for AD. “The issue is whether poor sleep accelerates the development of Alzheimer’s disease or vice versa,” study author Gregory Brewer, who’s affiliated with UCI’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, said in a news release. “It’s a chicken-or-egg dilemma, but our research points to disruption of sleep as the accelerator of memory loss.” To evaluate the association between memory and learning and circadian disturbances, researchers altered natural light-dark patterns with an eight-hour shortening of the dark period every three days in normal mice a
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