Brains flush toxic waste in sleep, including Alzheimer’s-linked protein, study of mice finds
Lulu Xie -
The difference of cerebrospinal fluid influx is seen in the
brain of an awake and a sleeping mouse. Fluorescent dye has been
injected into the animal to enable viewing of cerebrospinal fluid
dynamics in a mouse that is still alive. The red represents the greater
flow in a sleeping animal, while the green represents conversely
restricted flow in the same awake animal.
While we are asleep, our bodies may be resting, but our brains are busy taking out the trash.
A new study has found
that the cleanup system in the brain, responsible for flushing out
toxic waste products that cells produce with daily use, goes into
overdrive in mice that are asleep. The cells even shrink in size to make
for easier cleaning of the spaces around them.