An Alzheimer’s Precursor Which is the Result of Lack of Sleep?

New Atlas with some new research showing a link between poor sleep and Alzheimers. The study draws a link between circadian rhythms – basically a person’s inherent sleep cycle – and a biomarker associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The brain protein in question is called YKL-40 and for years has served as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s, as high levels of it have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of those suffering from the disease and these levels rise as the disease progresses. The researchers were screening for genes that are regulated by the circadian rhythm, and were intrigued to see the gene for this brain protein pop up.”

Reading the abstract, it doesn’t seem to indicate whether the disruptions in circadian rhythms are a contributing factor to Alzheimers’ or whether they are a result of the disease. In other words: are they the cart, or the horse?

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