Did you ever think about how the brain cleans itself and eliminates build up? Or why this might be important?
Well Jeff Iliff and his colleagues have been studying this and have discovered that the brain essentially runs a cleaning cycle during sleep which is vital for removing waste.
This cleaning cycle doesn’t happen in an ‘awake’ brain and the brains of alzheimer’s patients show a build up of clumps of waste which might just imply that poor sleep patterns or poor sleep quality could play a part in the development of degenerative brain conditions.
Watch this TED talk to find out more:
For more information, including reading list and speakers notes, go to Ted.com
About Jeff Iliff
Jeff is a neuroscientist and Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Jeff was a part of a University of Rochester Medical Center team that discovered a brain cleansing system, which they dubbed the “glymphatic system.”