About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Experts Say Brain Cleans Itself During Sleep

by Sheela Philomena on October 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM
Font : A-A+

 Experts Say Brain Cleans Itself During Sleep

Health experts say that the brain cleans itself of toxic metabolic by-products while one is asleep and this cleansing could be the basic purpose behind the state of rest.

The brain's unique method of waste removal, dubbed the glymphatic system, is highly active during sleep, cleaning toxins responsible for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders, revealed the US journal Science.


Researchers from the University of Rochester, New York, also found that during sleep the brain's cells reduce in size, allowing waste to be removed more effectively, Xinhua reported.

"This study shows that the brain has different functions when asleep and awake," said Maiken Nedergaard from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Recent findings have also shown that sleep can help store and consolidate memories.

The glymphatic system acts like a plumbing system that piggybacks on the brain's blood vessels and pumps cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through its tissues, flushing waste back into the circulatory system, the researchers said.

The glymphatic system is a waste clearance pathway in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammals.

Researchers speculated that the glymphatic system may be more active during sleep and carried series of experiments on mice by tracking the movements of red and green dye throughout the brain. They found that large amounts of CSF flowed into the brain of the mice during sleep, but not when they were awake.

The glymphatic system was almost 10-fold more active in them during sleep, researchers said.

"These findings have significant implications for treating disease like Alzheimer's," said Nedergaard.

Amyloid, a protein implicated in Alzheimer's disease, is a waste product removed by the system during sleep.

"Understanding how and when brain activates the glymphatic system and clears waste is a critical first step in efforts to potentially modulate the system and make it work more efficiently," he said.

Source: IANS

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Snoring Parkinsons Disease Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Periodic Limb Movement Disorder REM Behavior Disorder Sleep Disturbances In Women Sleep Insomnia 

Recommended Reading
Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting memory and thinking and ......
Ageing and Sleep
Sleep is a barometer of good health in the elderly. Sleep problems in the elderly are controlled by ...
Quiz on Sleep Disorder
The comfort of modern life comes at the cost of restful sleep! "Laugh and the world laughs with ......
Brilliant Human Brain - Animation
The most amazing and complex organ in the entire universe, the human brain continues to remain an .....
Difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep is known as insomnia. It is a symptom that occurs due...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder which causes repetitive cramping or jerki...
REM Behavior Disorder
REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder in which the person acts out dramatic or violent dre...
Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes - An urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that...
Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking or “Somnambulism,” is a type of parasomnia and has medico-legal implications...
Sleep Disturbances In Women
The physical, emotional and hormonal changes that occur in women during puberty, menstrual cycle, pr...
Turbulent airflow causes tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and the noise produced by these v...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use