"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
-- J.R.R. Tolkein "The Children of Hurin"

Sleep Deprivation and the Glymphatic System

Sleep Deprivation:

Poor sleep linked to toxic buildup of Alzheimer's protein, memory loss
Date: June 1, 2015 Source: University of California - Berkeley Summary: Sleep may be a missing piece of the Alzheimer's puzzle. The toxic protein that is the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease blocks the deepest stages of sleep, resulting in memory decline, according to new research.
…"Sleep is helping wash away toxic proteins at night, preventing them from building up and from potentially destroying brain cells," Walker said. "It's providing a power cleanse for the brain."…

Journal Reference:
β-amyloid disrupts human NREM slow waves and related hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation.
Matthew P Walker et al.
Nature Neuroscience, June 2015 DOI: 10.1038/nn.4035

Partial sleep deprivation linked to biological aging in older adults
Date: June 10, 2015 Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine Summary: One night of partial sleep deprivation promotes biological aging in older adults, a new study suggests. One night of partial sleep deprivation activates gene expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) consistent with increasing accumulation of damage that initiates cell cycle arrest and increases susceptibility to senescence, the scientists report.

Glymphatic System:

Previously unknown cleaning system in brain: Newer imaging technique brings 'glymphatic system' to light
Date: August 15, 2012 Source: University of Rochester Medical Center Summary: A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid clip has been discovered by neuroscientists. The highly organized system acts like a series of pipes that piggyback on the brain's blood vessels, sort of a shadow plumbing system that seems to serve much the same function in the brain as the lymph system does in the rest of the body -- to drain away waste products.

Journal Reference:

A Paravascular Pathway Facilitates CSF Flow Through the Brain Parenchyma and the Clearance of Interstitial Solutes, Including Amyloid β.
Jeffrey J. Iliff, Minghuan Wang, Yonghong Liao, Benjamin A. Plogg, Weiguo Peng, Georg A. Gundersen, Helene Benveniste, G. Edward Vates, Rashid Deane, Steven A. Goldman, Erlend A. Nagelhus, and Maiken Nedergaard.
Science Translational Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003748

Brain may flush out toxins during sleep; Sleep clears brain of molecules associated with neurodegeneration: Study
Date: October 17, 2013 Source: NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Summary: Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease.

Journal Reference:

Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain.
L. Xie, H. Kang, Q. Xu, M. J. Chen, Y. Liao, M. Thiyagarajan, J. O'Donnell, D. J. Christensen, C. Nicholson, J. J. Iliff, T. Takano, R. Deane, M. Nedergaard. Science, 2013; 342 (6156): 373 DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224

Scientists find way to image brain waste removal process which may lead to Alzheimer's diagnostic
Date: February 25, 2013 Source: Stony Brook University Summary: A novel way to image the brain’s glymphatic pathway may provide the basis for a new strategy to evaluate Alzheimer's disease susceptibility, according to a new research.

Journal Reference:

Brain-wide pathway for waste clearance captured by contrast-enhanced MRI.
Jeffrey J. Iliff, Hedok Lee, Mei Yu, Tian Feng, Jean Logan, Maiken Nedergaard, Helene Benveniste.
Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013; DOI: 10.1172/JCI67677

Blows to head damage brain's 'garbage truck,' accelerate dementia
Date: December 2, 2014 Source: University of Rochester Medical Center Summary: Traumatic brain injury can disrupt the function of the brain's waste removal system, research confirms. When this occurs, toxic proteins may accumulate in the brain, setting the stage for the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Journal Reference:

Impairment of Glymphatic Pathway Function Promotes Tau Pathology after Traumatic Brain Injury.
J. J. Iliff, M. J. Chen, B. A. Plog, D. M. Zeppenfeld, M. Soltero, L. Yang, I. Singh, R. Deane, M. Nedergaard.
Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (49): 16180 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3020-14.2014

Blood test for brain injury may not be feasible afterall
Date: January 13, 2015 Source: University of Rochester Medical Center Summary: Complications involving the brain's unique waste removal system -- the existence of which has only recently been brought to light -- may thwart efforts to identify biomarkers that detect traumatic brain injury. That is because proteins that are triggered by brain damage are prevented from reaching the blood system in levels necessary for a precise diagnosis, experts explain.

Journal Reference:

Biomarkers of Traumatic Injury Are Transported from Brain to Blood via the Glymphatic System.
B. A. Plog, M. L. Dashnaw, E. Hitomi, W. Peng, Y. Liao, N. Lou, R. Deane, M. Nedergaard.
Journal of Neuroscience, 2015; 35 (2): 518 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3742-14.2015

Brain's 'garbage truck' may hold key to treating Alzheimer's and other disorders
Date: June 27, 2013 Source: University of Rochester Medical Center Summary: Scientists point to a newly discovered system by which the brain removes waste as a potentially powerful new tool to treat neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease. In fact, scientists believe that some of these conditions may arise when the system is not doing its job properly.

Journal Reference:

Garbage Truck of the Brain.
M. Nedergaard.
Science, 2013; 340 (6140): 1529 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240514

Missing link found between brain, immune system; major disease implications
Date: June 1, 2015 Source: University of Virginia Health System Summary: In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. The discovery could have profound implications for diseases from autism to Alzheimer's to multiple sclerosis.

…As to how the brain's lymphatic vessels managed to escape notice all this time, Kipnis described them as "very well hidden" and noted that they follow a major blood vessel down into the sinuses, an area difficult to image. "It's so close to the blood vessel, you just miss it," he said. "If you don't know what you're after, you just miss it."…

Journal Reference:

Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels.
Nature. 2015 Jun 1. doi: 10.1038/nature14432.
Louveau A1, Smirnov I1, Keyes TJ1, Eccles JD2, Rouhani SJ3, Peske JD3, Derecki NC1, Castle D4, Mandell JW5, Lee KS6, Harris TH1, Kipnis J7.

Abstract: One of the characteristics of the central nervous system is the lack of a classical lymphatic drainage system. Although it is now accepted that the central nervous system undergoes constant immune surveillance that takes place within the meningeal compartment, the mechanisms governing the entrance and exit of immune cells from the central nervous system remain poorly understood. In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, we discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes. The unique location of these vessels may have impeded their discovery to date, thereby contributing to the long-held concept of the absence of lymphatic vasculature in the central nervous system. The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology and sheds new light on the aetiology of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction.
PMID: 26030524  [PubMed]


When I read these things (and I usually only read the abstracts), I ask myself, “What can I do with this information?”  Well, in this case, there is a “do”.  The yellow/orange food coloring from the curry spice turmeric, as you will read below, appears to be able to break up the beta-amyloid plaques.  But, where does it go once broken up?  To “flush it out” after the curcumin does its job, it looks like one needs a working glymphatic system!  And that means, uninterrupted sleep.  My father already takes curcumin.  So, my next “do” is the sleep study for sleep apnea.

Other areas are:

1)      Glucose hypometabolism (“Type III diabetes”).  Do: insulin?, MCT oil, cinnamon

2)      Infection (neurospirochetosis).  Do: dental work, colloidal silver, antibiotics?; Prevent UTIs (D-mannose, colloidal silver, asparagus)


Curcumin's ability to fight Alzheimer's studied
Date: January 12, 2015 Source: Vanderbilt University Medical Center Summary: One of the most promising new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease may already be in your kitchen. Curcumin, a natural product found in the spice turmeric, has been used by many Asian cultures for centuries, and a new study indicates a close chemical analog of curcumin has properties that may make it useful as a treatment for the brain disease.
…“Curcumin has demonstrated ability to enter the brain, bind and destroy the beta-amyloid plaques present in Alzheimer’s with reduced toxicity,”…

(Curcumin for AD isn’t exactly “new”, as the article above would have you believe. I’ve known about it for at least 8 years, and research has been done on it maybe a decade or two ago, but it’s an un-patentable supplement, not a medicine.)

No, I don’t really want to know about these things, but I’ve found that physicians are too busy to keep up on the latest developments.


Grand Index

Inception: June 11, 2015    Updated: June 11, 2015