Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle We know that people with Alzheimer's often have sleep problems. But does it work the other way? Do problems with sleep set the stage for this degenerative brain disease? Jon Hamilton introduces us to some scientists looking into that connection. In a recent study, researchers observed a key role deep sleep potentially plays in maintaining brain health and protecting the brain against Alzheimer's. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.
NPR logo

Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/781267984/781421017" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle

Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle

Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/781267984/781421017" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

During deep sleep, waves of cerebrospinal fluid (blue) coincide with temporary decreases in blood flow (red). Less blood in the brain means more room for the fluid to carry away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease. Fultz et al. 2019 hide caption

toggle caption
Fultz et al. 2019

During deep sleep, waves of cerebrospinal fluid (blue) coincide with temporary decreases in blood flow (red). Less blood in the brain means more room for the fluid to carry away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Fultz et al. 2019

We know that people with Alzheimer's often have sleep problems. But does it work the other way? Do problems with sleep set the stage for this degenerative brain disease? Jon Hamilton introduces us to some scientists looking into that connection. In a recent study, researchers observed a key role deep sleep potentially plays in maintaining brain health and protecting the brain against Alzheimer's. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Related Links:
"How Deep Sleep May Help The Brain Clear Alzheimer's Toxins," by Jon Hamilton (2019)

"Lack Of Deep Sleep May Set The Stage For Alzheimer's," by Jon Hamilton (2016)

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson and edited by Viet Le.