Ju YE, McLeland JS, Toedebusch CD, Xiong C, Fagan AM, Duntley SP, Morris JC, Holtzman DM.
Sleep quality and preclinical Alzheimer disease.
JAMA Neurol. 2013 May 1;70(5):587-93.
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In the October 18 Science, Xie et al. report that cerebrospinal fluid flow through the interstitial space of the brain increases during sleep. This increased flow might function to clear undesirable metabolites from the brain. If humans are also shown to have increased flow through the brain during sleep, how might we enhance the removal of Aβ and other molecules? Given a fixed volume of fluid, washing is more efficient if done repeatedly with a fraction of the volume rather than once with the whole volume. By analogy, cutting nighttime sleep by an hour and making it up with a nap in the middle of the day may increase clearance, since two washes daily would be more effective than one, despite the shorter time for each.