Alzheimer's disease attacks brain regions responsible for wa
Researchers and caregivers have noted that excessive daytime napping can develop long before the memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease begin to unfold.

The new research demonstrates that these brain regions (including the part of the brain impacted by narcolepsy) are among the first casualties of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease, and therefore that excessive daytime napping -- particularly when it occurs in the absence of significant nighttime sleep problems -- could serve as an early warning sign of the disease. In addition, by associating this damage with a protein known as tau, the study adds to evidence that tau contributes more directly to the brain degeneration that drives Alzheimer's symptoms than the more extensively studied amyloid protein.

Wakefulness centers degenerate in Alzheimer's brains:

In the new study, published August 12, 2019 in Alzheimer's and Dementia, lead author Jun Oh, a Grinberg lab research associate, and colleagues precisely measured Alzheimer's pathology, tau protein levels and neuron numbers in three brain regions involved in promoting wakefuless from 13 deceased Alzheimer's patients and seven healthy control subjects, which were obtained from the UCSF Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank.
Compared to healthy brains, Oh and colleagues found that the brains of Alzheimer's patients had significant tau buildup in all three wakefulness-promoting brain centers they studied -- the locus coeruleus (LC), lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), and tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) -- and that these regions had lost as many as 75 percent of their neurons.

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190813/Alzheimers-disease-attacks-brain-regions-responsible-for-wakefulness.aspx
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