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A hypnic hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease

Clark, CN; Warren, JD; (2013) A hypnic hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease. Neurodegenerative Diseases , 12 (4) 10.1159/000350060. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Understanding the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is of fundamental importance for improved diagnosis, monitoring and ultimately, treatment. Objective: A role for the sleep-wake cycle in the pathogenesis of AD has been proposed, but remains to be worked out in detail. Methods: Here we draw together several lines of previous work to outline a 'hypnic hypothesis' of AD. Results: We propose that altered function of brainstem neurotransmitter pathways associated with sleep, promotes regionally specific disintegration of a cortico-subcortical 'default mode' brain network that is selectively vulnerable in AD. Conclusion: The formation of a dynamic toxic state within this vulnerable network linked to sleep-wake disruption, would in turn lead to failure of synaptic repair, increased transmission of pathogenic misfolded proteins and a self-amplifying neurodegenerative process. We consider the evidence for this hypnic hypothesis and the implications that follow on from it.

Type: Article
Title: A hypnic hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1159/000350060
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000350060
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel. This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (CC BY 3.0) (www.karger.com/OA-license-WT), applicable to the online version of the article only.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1392976
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