Brain Makes Use of Sleep to Drain Waste Toxins: Research

The researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Centre revealed that the brain makes use of sleep in order to drain the waste toxins.

Created On: Oct 19, 2013 11:50 ISTModified On: Oct 19, 2013 11:48 IST

The researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, in the third week of October 2013 revealed that the brain makes use of sleep in order to drain the waste toxins which are built during the thinking of the hard day. The team of researchers explained that the waste removal system is actually one of the primary reasons of sleep.

The study conducted by the researchers explained that the brain cells shrink when a person sleeps, in order to open the gaps between neurons and enable the fluid to clean the brain from toxins. The study also suggested that failure to clean a few toxic proteins can lead to brain disorders as well.

The findings were developed on the discovery of brain's own network of glymphatic system. The discovery was made by the same team of researchers in the year 2012. The glymphatic system actually carries the waste material out from the brain. The researchers used the images of the mice for the study and concluded that the glymphatic system became at least 10 times more active while the mice were asleep.

The researchers however explained that the actual importance of the findings would come up after the human studies only. Doing the same experiments in the MRI machine can prove relatively simpler.

It is important to note that a lot of brain-related conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease have the common characteristic of building up of damaged proteins in the brain. Both these diseases are caused because of the loss of brain cells. The researchers, in this context, explained that the issues with the cleaning mechanism of the brain can lead to diseases like these. However, further research was required on this.

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