It turned out that lack of sleep leads to changes in brain structure.
Lack of sleep causes the brain in the truest sense of the word to devour itself, free from worn-out cells. To such conclusion came researchers from Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, who studied sleep-deprived mice, according to the Chronicle.info with reference to 24apteka.
The human brain begins to devour itself if it does not receive the necessary amount of sleep. The researchers studied laboratory mice when they discovered that the cleansing of the cells were more active in their brain at that moment when they couldn’t sleep. These cells, known as astrocytes, play the role of a vacuum in the brain, clearing it from worn-out cells.
As a result, the connections between neurons weaken and are broken. For the first time in history, scientists were able to prove that a certain number of synapses literally gobbled up by astrocytes due to lack of sleep. According to the researchers, this seemingly intimidating process, in reality, is quite positive.
We are talking about the synapses, which constitute something like “pieces of old furniture,” as the scientists. They really need to get rid of, and astrocytes perform this task. However, in the brain, faced with the lack of sleep, there are excessive signs of activity, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
In particular, in laboratory mice brain cells called microglia appeared to be more active. And science has known that chronic activity microglia observed in victims of dementia.
This news came shortly after another group of scientists proved that lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease. The researchers found that people who sleep less than 6 hours at night increased the risk of death because of metabolic syndrome- a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.