Adequate sleep is essential for good health, but the reasons why the brain heals more effectively during sleep and whether these processes can be influenced is still unclear
Research suggests that the brain’s lymphatic system is more active during sleep, aiding in eliminating waste products, toxins, and unnecessary molecules from brain tissues.
Disrupted sleep can lead to a build-up of these waste products in the central nervous system (CNS), and consequently, sleep has been identified as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease
This relationship is attributed to the fact that the harmful metabolite beta-amyloid is expelled from the brain during sleep.
Lack of sleep results in the accumulation of this toxin in the CNS, potentially contributing to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease over time.In a new study published in Frontiers of Optoelectronics, researchers demonstrated that a noninvasive technology called sleep photobiomodulation (PBM) could effectively enhance the removal of beta-amyloid from the brain tissues of mice.
Notably, the therapeutic impact of PBM was found to be more pronounced during sleep than when awake. The text states this:
“Applying PBM while sleeping essentially turns the brain into a “washing machine,” helping to clear out toxic beta-amyloid and boost the brain’s resistance to Alzheimer’s disease progression. In this new research, scientists demonstrated that combining a special chemical, 5-aminolevulenic acid, with laser light at a specific wavelength reduces the network of vessels in the membranes covering the brain, which are called meningeal lymphatic vessels (MLVs). This reduction leads to a decrease in the removal of a harmful protein beta-amyloid from specific areas of the brain.”
Researchers employed a unique PBM protocol, where they monitored the mice’s brain activity during different stages of sleep and wakefulness without using anesthesia. They discovered that applying PBM for 7 days during deep sleep was more effective in promoting the removal of the harmful proteins from the brain compared to when the mice were awake.
In conclusion, the research led by the PBM protocol has led to startling and extremely vital new information on Alzheimer’s disease. Phototherapy is a new route opened into the journey to find cures for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. As we can see, it can be used to penetrate the brain in regions that could not have been reached before. It is already used in childcare in newborn children with diseases such as jaundice, and new research shows that it can do a lot more than that. The fact that it is able to affect the brain so deeply is a testament to its potential, showing us that it can reach where we could not ever have before in the past.