Study: Good night’s sleep cleans out gunk in brain

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — When we sleep, our brains get rid of gunk that builds up while we’re awake, suggests a study that may provide new clues to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders.

This cleaning was detected in the brains of sleeping mice, but scientists said there’s reason to think it happens in people too.

If so, the finding may mean that for people with dementia and other mind disorders, ‘‘sleep would perhaps be even more important in slowing the progression of further damage,’’ Dr. Clete Kushida, medical director of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, said in an e-mail.

Kushida did not participate in the study, which appears in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

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