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Friday
Feb172012

What's-his Face?

Day 23/30

In Bed Time = 6hrs 40min 11sec

There is nothing worse, in old age, than not being able to remember the faces of your family. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease rob you of your mental agility and the wherewithal to remember faces. Truly a fate worse than death. But fear not, dear CubeSapien, your future existence is not all gloom and doom! An article in ScienceDaily recently conveyed the results of a sleep test that drew a correlation between sleep and old person memory problems.

The study found that people who woke up more than five times per hour were more likely to have amyloid plaque build-up compared to people who didn't wake up as much. The study also found those people who slept "less efficiently" were more likely to have the markers of early stage Alzheimer's disease than those who slept more efficiently.

Amyloid is a soluble chemical protein that that has been "misfolded" (apparently proteins do different things when they are folded differently, think atomic origami). Specifically the culprit, Beta Amyloid, is commonly seen in the presence of Alzheimer's disease. Although not a direct cause of Alzheimer's disease, beta amyloid goes hand in hand with the memory loss.

For a long time, humans have know that sleep is good and not having enough sleep is a bad thing, even getting unrestful sleep can hurt you. As the scientific community continues to look into the human body they continue to discover reasons why that classic kernel of knowledge is accurate.

This time it's clear that there are some mechanisms in sleep that reduce the amount of Beta Amyloid in the body and as a result decreases the chance of dementia and Alzheimer's later in life. 

Get some rest and maybe you'll be able to recall the name of that guy, whats-his face.