Another Significant Difference Discovered in Alzheimer’s Patients’ Brains!
Circadian rhythms or 24 hour cycles which direct our bodies to perform the daily activities at specific times (sleeping, eating etc) were found to be disrupted in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These rhythms also play a key role in mental health and normal functioning of the brain.
The study was conducted on brain tissue samples obtained from 58 donors out of which 31 were normal (control) and 27 were Alzheimer’s affected.
Clock genes BMAL1, PER1 and PER2 responsible for circadian rhythms were found in all the samples in three areas of the brain. Unlike the control tissues in which diurnal (day/night) expression was observed in all the 3 areas, Alzheimer’s brain tissues lacked synchronization between these 3 areas and showed an alteration in the shape of the rhythms.
According to this study, disturbed sleep patterns in Alzheimer’s patients could be a result of the disruption of these rhythms.
An improved understanding of this sleep-wake alteration could lead to the development of improvised treatment options.