fbpx
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
brainhealth dementia research lifestyle Alzheimer's riskfactors

Text to speech

Why Living Alone Could Be Bad for Your Brain

By | June 28th, 2017

More than half of people over 85  in the U.S. live alone and scientists are starting to unravel how this could be contributing to the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that social isolation leads to loss of sleep and, over time, this can damage the body’s cells.

During the study, scientists looked at the effects of keeping fruit flies in isolation from the rest of their colony. The fruit flies slept less and the stress this caused to their cells activated a defense mechanism called the unfolded protein response (UPR). In the short term, this protects the cells from damage but over time it can harm them causing inflammation and cell death. Scientists suspect that UPR is contributing to the aging process and diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Lack of sleep has long been associated with greater risk of dementia but this is the first time scientists have drawn a link between sleep loss, social isolation and cell death.

Read more about the study here.

If you find our articles and interviews helpful, please consider becoming a supporting member of our community. Frustrated by the lack of an editorially independent source of information on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, we decided to create Being Patient. We are a team of dedicated journalists covering the latest research on Alzheimer’s, bringing you access to the experts and elevating the patient perspective on what it’s like to live with dementia.

Please help support our mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *