Alzheimer’s targets brain cells that help people stay awake
New Alzheimer’s disease research is providing valuable insight into the cause of the drowsiness associated with dementias. A study performed in a neuropathology lab at UC San Francisco found the brain stem and hypothalamus to be packed with tau protein. The brain stem and hypothalamus oversee several nervous system functions, including keeping people awake and focused. Tau forms “tangles” inside of nerve cells and hinder them from performing necessary functions. In studying three areas of theses structures that help keep people awake, researchers found over 70 percent of the nerve cells were destroyed by tau. These findings will help to drive a greater focus on the brain stem in dementia and Alzheimers research.
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