Mar 10, 2014
Do We Sleep to Clean Our Brains?
Posted on Oct 18, 2013
American scientists think they’ve discovered the function of sleep: to clear molecular buildup in the brain in what Guardian science reporter Ian Sample calls a “rubbish disposal service.”
Experiments on mice showed that during sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped throughout the brain and flushes out waste products to the liver.
“The process helps to remove the molecular detritus that brain cells churn out as part of their natural activity, along with toxic proteins that can lead to dementia when they build up in the brain, the researchers say,” Sample reported.
Other researchers said more more work needs to be done to determine if the same process occurs in humans and whether creating an opportunity to clean the brain was sleep’s primary function.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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