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[–] Kris123 1 points 7 points (+8|-1) ago 

The brain typically shrinks to some degree in healthy aging but, surprisingly, does not lose neurons in large numbers. In Alzheimer’s disease, however, damage is widespread, as many neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die. Alzheimer’s disrupts processes vital to neurons and their networks, including communication, metabolism, and repair.

At first, Alzheimer’s disease typically destroys neurons and their connections in parts of the brain involved in memory, including the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. It later affects areas in the cerebral cortex responsible for language, reasoning, and social behavior. Eventually, many other areas of the brain are damaged. Over time, a person with Alzheimer’s gradually loses his or her ability to live and function independently. Ultimately, the disease is fatal.

The beta-amyloid protein involved in Alzheimer’s comes in several different molecular forms that collect between neurons. It is formed from the breakdown of a larger protein, called amyloid precursor protein. One form, beta-amyloid 42, is thought to be especially toxic. In the Alzheimer’s brain, abnormal levels of this naturally occurring protein clump together to form plaques that collect between neurons and disrupt cell function. Research is ongoing to better understand how, and at what stage of the disease, the various forms of beta-amyloid influence Alzheimer’s.

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[–] ArsCortica 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

It does make sense - apart from just "repairing" physical damage on itself while asleep, the human body also uses this period to remove various toxic components that accumulate in the brain during its waking hours - essentially waste products of the regular metabolic activities up there. Without enough sleep, it should not be surprising that these toxic agents would accumulate and, potentially, degrade into substances even more dangerous to the sensitive neural tissue.

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[–] 22trilionAsecond 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago  (edited ago)

We should sleep between 7 and 9 hours

Testosterone is released in rem sleep.

1 hour of lost sleep can reduce your Testosterone by 15% or more.

Sleep loss also results in Insulin resistance. Insulin is a more powerful growth hormone than Testosterone.


Miss out on sleep, miss out on gains.

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[–] rosche 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Very interesting take on the disease. I'd seen prior reports about sleep deprivation causing memory loss - but it was attributed to the assumed way the brain works, which is that short term memory is limited, and it caches thoughts in the same way that RAM memory might cache delayed writes in an operating system. So, stay up too long - and your cache runs out - and its FIFO queue dumps the oldest short term memories. During sleep, the cache is put into long term storage, and linked with other memories (like a database doing a re-index).

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[–] CarthOSassy 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I'm fucked then.

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[–] Cat-hax 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

So am I, I hardly ever get good sleep, I could go to bed right now at 7pm and wake up still tired as fuck at 5am

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[–] igor9212 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

You have sleep apnea? (Snoring) THat could be a big part. Sleep apnea is linked to heart disease too somehow.