Why sleep is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease

A study involving genetically engineered fruit flies adds to our understanding of why sleep and bioclock disruptions are common in those with Alzheimer's disease. People with Alzheimer's often have poor biological rhythms — periods of sleep become shorter and more fragmented, resulting in periods of wakefulness at night and snoozing during the day. It has been thought that Alzheimer’s destroys the biological clock, but this new study indicates that the clock is still working — however, it’s being ignored by other parts of the brain.


[3560] Chen K-F, Possidente B, Lomas DA, Crowther DC. The central molecular clock is robust in the face of behavioural arrhythmia in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease. Disease Models & Mechanisms [Internet]. 2014 ;7(4):445 - 458. Available from: http://dmm.biologists.org/content/7/4/445