Link with circadian clock could solve the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease

By: | February 18th, 2022

Image courtesy Wikimedia

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds

In the US, nearly 6 million people age 65 and older are affected, and worldwide at least 50 million people are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

Alzheimer’s has long been a mystery to scientists. Scientists have struggled to find a cure for the disease.

There may be help on the way!

Now, researchers in the US have shed light on the mystery that the condition may be directly linked to circadian rhythms. The link between “good sleep hygiene” and Alzheimer’s disease could help to tackle the disease and its symptoms.

What exactly did the researchers find?

Their work revealed that humans’ 24-hour circadian clock controls the brain’s ability to clear away a key protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This can explain how disruption to daily circadian rhythms and sleep disturbances might feed into the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Preventing such disruption might stave off the condition.

“Understanding how our circadian rhythms can regulate cell-surface heparan levels to control the build-up of amyloid-beta may lead to the development of chrono-therapeutics that alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as other inflammatory diseases,” said in a press release Jennifer Hurley of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who led the study.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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