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Sleep 'Cleans' The Brain of Toxins

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by heapsreal, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    The research in the journal Science offers new answers to explain why people spend a third of their lives asleep and may help in treating dementia and other neurological disorders.
    In lab experiments on mice, researchers observed how cellular waste was flushed out via the brain's blood vessels into the body's circulatory system and eventually the liver.
    These waste products included amyloid beta, a protein that when accumulated is a driver of Alzheimer's disease.
    In order to help remove the waste, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped through brain tissue.
    The process is sped along during sleep because the brain's cells shrink by about 60 per cent, allowing the fluid to move faster and more freely through the brain.
    The whole operation takes place in what researchers call the glymphatic system, which appears to be nearly 10 times more active during sleep than while awake.
    "The brain only has limited energy at its disposal," said lead author Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
    "You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can't really do both at the same time."
    Co-authors of the study, which was funded by the US National Institutes of Health, came from Oregon Health and Science University and New York University.
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/2013/10/18/10/12/study-finds-sleep-helps-brain-stay-fit
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Too bad sleep doesn't help my thighs stay fit too...

    ETA: Now wait a minute! The thread title changed and now my joke doesn't make any sense!! :)
     
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  3. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I can see this research being true. I just wish I could get a weeks worth of good deep sleep. Nevermind, I rather have it for the rest of my life!!
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    The US team believe the "waste removal system" is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep.

    Click on picture below for entire article:

    [​IMG]

    The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day's thinking, researchers have shown.
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This was an hypothesis in about 2000 when I was learning about brain chemistry at uni.
     
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  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    A pity they dont have any answers? ?
     
  7. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    Guess this is why I have such a dirty mind. ;)
     
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  8. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Very interesting because some PWCs and healthy persons can think and feel more clearly in the morning. Moreover this finding has many implications for sleep disorders. It would be nice, if we had some good sleep meds.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017144636.htm

    Oct. 17, 2013 — A good night's rest may literally clear the mind. Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH.
    "Sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain. It appears to be a completely different state," said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and a leader of the study.
    For centuries, scientists and philosophers have wondered why people sleep and how it affects the brain. Only recently have scientists shown that sleep is important for storing memories. In this study, Dr. Nedergaard and her colleagues unexpectedly found that sleep may be also be the period when the brain cleanses itself of toxic molecules.
    Their results, published in Science, show that during sleep a plumbing system called the glymphatic system may open, letting fluid flow rapidly through the brain. Dr. Nedergaard's lab recently discovered the glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
    "It's as if Dr. Nedergaard and her colleagues have uncovered a network of hidden caves and these exciting results highlight the potential importance of the network in normal brain function," said Roderick Corriveau, Ph.D., a program director at NINDS.
    Initially the researchers studied the system by injecting dye into the CSF of mice and watching it flow through their brains while simultaneously monitoring electrical brain activity. The dye flowed rapidly when the mice were unconscious, either asleep or anesthetized. In contrast, the dye barely flowed when the same mice were awake.
    "We were surprised by how little flow there was into the brain when the mice were awake," said Dr. Nedergaard. "It suggested that the space between brain cells changed greatly between conscious and unconscious states."
    To test this idea, the researchers used electrodes inserted into the brain to directly measure the space between brain cells. They found that the space inside the brains increased by 60 percent when the mice were asleep or anesthetized.
    "These are some dramatic changes in extracellular space," said Charles Nicholson, Ph.D., a professor at New York University's Langone Medical Center and an expert in measuring the dynamics of brain fluid flow and how it influences nerve cell communication.
    Certain brain cells, called glia, control flow through the glymphatic system by shrinking or swelling. Noradrenaline is an arousing hormone that is also known to control cell volume. Similar to using anesthesia, treating awake mice with drugs that block noradrenaline induced unconsciousness and increased brain fluid flow and the space between cells, further supporting the link between the glymphatic system and consciousness.
    Previous studies suggest that toxic molecules involved in neurodegenerative disorders accumulate in the space between brain cells. In this study, the researchers tested whether the glymphatic system controls this by injecting mice with labeled beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease, and measuring how long it lasted in their brains when they were asleep or awake. Beta-amyloid disappeared faster in mice brains when the mice were asleep, suggesting sleep normally clears toxic molecules from the brain.
    "These results may have broad implications for multiple neurological disorders," said Jim Koenig, Ph.D., a program director at NINDS. "This means the cells regulating the glymphatic system may be new targets for treating a range of disorders."
    The results may also highlight the importance of sleep.
    "We need sleep. It cleans up the brain," said Dr. Nedergaard.
     
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  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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  10. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I heard about this on the radio. I wondered about a couple of things for people with ME.

    A lot of us have inflammation. Would inflammation keep the brain cells from shrinking sufficiently?

    They said that it occurred only at night because it took a lot of energy. Do people with ME have enough energy even at night?
     
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  11. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Sounds very plausible. I think this must be one reason why cranial sacral therapy (CST) is so healing. Allowing the cerebral spinal fluid to flow more freely would probably help CFSers to detox more even in addition to the usual CST benefits. :)
     
  12. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Maybe this is why people sleep better when they are well-hydrated.
     
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  13. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Would that be considered as vascular inflammation or is it brain tissue inflammation in general that is not allowing the glymphatic system to function properly.
     
  14. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    Hydration may be very important, like you suggested in another thread I think. :)
    Also, perhaps - this is just based on my experience so FWIW! - sleeping cool. Like a battery, cold is good for the saving the charge/energy, and cold reduces inflammation too.
     
  15. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Fwiw, I've been sleeping like a log for about 5 - 6 years
    now. I know this may not work for others but a combo
    of melatonin 5htp and either theanine or klonopin
    knock me out. The problem is waking up after taking
    these. : 0 I'm in the process of getting off these to
    see what my body is like without these.

    Natural Factors makes a single supplement with these
    ingredients but the dosage wasn't right for me.

    I didn't get any smarter sleeping all these years. If
    anything these made me too mentally sluggish.

    On the upside, maybe I prevented alzheimers. I can't
    imagine it being much different from cfs brain at this
    point. ; )
     
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  16. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I saw this article on Facebook this week. I think this is why NAC can sometimes help me with sleep. I suspect that in my case, the toxins get stuck in my sluggish liver and get circulated back in to my bloodstream instead of moving out. I am hoping improved methylation will help correct this in time.
     
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  17. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member

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  18. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    I meant to comment but have been sick and then busy catching up...

    The link with diseases like Alzheimer's is especially interesting to me, and to perhaps ME I think; although generally I do worry about my lack of being able to achieve a 'good night's sleep' despite my 10+ years of trying various methods.

    The ME 'unrefreshing sleep' symptom may in fact be more akin to the feeling of 'fatigue', and belays the truth behind our inability to maintain normal sleep.

    What if the sleep problems associated with ME are accounting or contributing to our memory problems and also perhaps those relating to cognition more generally?

    Sleep disorders - as alternate, additional or mis-diagnoses - are common. I think Newton et al found for example 30% of their cohort went on to receive a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

    I have also recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. I had been asking - off and on - for a sleep study for all of those 10 years. The first 4 years or so of my illness, sleep was not what I would term an issue - other than I was sleeping way too much!

    Sleep is disrupted now in so many ways and possibly not for only the same reason. Apnea is largely about one's brain not receiving the oxygen it needs and it then waking you up to breathe.

    This disruption can become acute - as in my case - and occur in significant periods during the night - or indeed during the day whenever trying to maintain sleep, and it isn't all about snoring, lying on one's back, or having too many pillows!

    From Discovery:

     
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  19. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Could this be why we're hypersensititive to meds that
    affect our brains ? Is everyone who has long term
    insomnia hypersensitive to these types of drugs ?

    I know exercising helps me clear my head but the
    resulting pem makes this impossible to maintain.

    It would be interesting to see if damaged brains
    retain more toxins. I recently read that oxalates like
    to congregate in damaged tissues. I wonder what
    else does. Of course oxalates bind to certain minerals
    so that's a given.
     
  20. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    Neurologist dr Gominak found close to 100% of her patients to have sleep disorders.
    Restoring sleep with a CPAP mask improved their symtoms, ranging from daily headaches and diabetes' burning feet to Parkinsons tremors.
    She has a site and videood lectures.

    She identifies Deep Sleep and REM as the phases when healing of the body occurs. Probably under influence of Human Growth Hormone. Getting the right amount of sleep paralysis is key, (too much= apneu; too little= waking up, sleeptalking or getting up to pee), and she is interested in the brain site that dictates paralysis (posterior brainstem). For one thing, this site is riddled with vitD receptors. Which is not a vitamine but a hormone so levels should be closely monitored (between 60 and 80 is correct).
    This summarizes her lecture, verrrry bluntly. She doesn't talk about detoxing in the brain during sleep but still interesting I think, since she gets emperical results from her patients.
     
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