Monday, October 21, 2013

Scientists may have figured out why we sleep

"Brain Cleansing"

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.

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