Tue, Nov 06, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Bad sleep may predict Alzheimer’s
睡不好 可能是阿茲海默氏症徵兆?

A brain image is displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Nov. 16, 2010.
這張攝於二○一○年十一月十六日的照片,是在美國紐約自然歷史博物館展出的一個腦部影像。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

Problems sleeping may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s if a study in mice also applies to people, say researchers.

Clumps of protein, called plaques, in the brain are thought to be a key component of the illness. A study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed that when plaques first developed, the mice started having disrupted sleep.

The hunt for early hints that someone is developing Alzheimer’s is thought to be crucial for treating the disease. People do not show problems with their memory or clarity of thought until very late on in the disease. At this point, parts of the brain will have been destroyed, meaning treatment will be very difficult or maybe even impossible.

Levels of the beta amyloid protein naturally rise and fall over 24 hours in both mice and people. However, the protein forms permanent plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. Experiments at Washington University showed that nocturnal mice slept for 40 minutes during every hour of daylight. However, as soon as brain plaques started to form the mice were sleeping for only 30 minutes.

(Liberty Times)

研究人員說,如果一份老鼠研究適用人類,睡不好可能是阿茲海默氏症的初期跡象。

腦中的蛋白質塊,也就是所謂的斑塊,被視為這種病症的關鍵成分。刊登在《科學轉譯醫學期刊》的研究顯示,當斑塊初期發展時,老鼠開始出現睡眠中斷。

追蹤阿茲海默氏症患者的初期徵兆,被視為治療這種疾病的關鍵。阿茲海默氏症患者直到非常晚期,才會出現記憶力或思慮清晰問題,到此時大腦部分區塊已經受創,治療會非常困難或甚至不可能。

人類和老鼠腦內的乙型澱粉樣蛋白含量二十四小時之間會自然上升或下降,但這種蛋白會在阿茲海默氏症患者腦內形成永久斑塊。華盛頓大學實驗發現,夜行性老鼠白天每小時睡四十分鐘,但當腦內斑塊開始形成,老鼠只睡三十分鐘。

(自由時報/翻譯:自由時報國際新聞中心)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. apply to v. phr.

適用 (shi4 yong4)

例: That bit of the form is for UK citizens. It doesn’t apply to you.

(表格的那一部分是讓英國公民填寫,你不適用。)

2. clump n.

塊 (kuai4)

例: There were big clumps of soil on his boots.

(他的靴子上有大塊土塊。)

3. nocturnal adj.

夜行性的 (ye4 xing2 xing4 de5)

例: Most bats are nocturnal.

(大部分蝙蝠都是夜行性的。)


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