TIL that during deep sleep, the cerebro-spinal fluid found in the brain and spinal cord flows into the brain and helps carry away waste products, including amyloid proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/10/31/775068218/how-deep-sleep-may-help-the-brain-clear-alzheimers-toxins

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  1. Slightly longer summary:

    >The brain waves generated during deep sleep appear to trigger a cleaning system in the brain that protects it against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    >Electrical signals known as slow waves appear just before a pulse of fluid washes through the brain, presumably removing toxins associated with Alzheimer’s, researchers reported [Thursday](https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aax5440) in the journal Science.

    >The finding could help explain a puzzling link between sleep and Alzheimer’s, says Laura Lewis, an author of the study and an assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Boston University.

    While this is an interesting discovery, the link between Alzheimer’s disease and amyloid proteins has been called into doubt following [recent allegations of data fabrication in one of the early studies](https://www.science.org/content/article/potential-fabrication-research-images-threatens-key-theory-alzheimers-disease) that lent support to that hypothesis. Nonetheless, it does appear that this phenomenon is a way for the brain to rid itself of metabolic waste products.

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