It was already known that Alzheimer’s can disturb the ability to sleep at night and it had been thought that patients napped during the day to catch up.

However, a study published today in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia suggests that three regions of the brain involved with keeping people awake during the daytime are among the first casualties of the degenerative condition.

Researchers linked the damage to a protein called tau, suggesting that it may contribute more directly to the brain degeneration that drives symptoms than a more extensively studied protein known as amyloid. (Times)