I’ve seen people being brainwashed and mind controlled in a dozen of Hollywood movies. That creep process freaks me out every single time. I used to think brainwash could only happen in my most horrible dreams, but scientists just found that every one of us would be “brainwashed” during sleep, and this kind of “brainwash” may be beneficial.
The “brainwash” happens every night
Every night when you sleep, something amazing happens in your brain.
First, the neurons in your brain “sleep,” going quiet. A few seconds later, blood flows out of your head. Then, a watery liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows in, washing through your brain in rhythmic, pulsing waves.
Previous studies have shown that there are electrical waves in the neurons, but it is the first time that scientists find there are also waves in the CSF. This new finding can help scientists better understand human brains.
The “brainwash” can lead to better mental health
During the “brainwash,” brain waves and CSF flow can help wash out toxic proteins that are bad for your memory. They are also related to blood flow.
When people age, there are often fewer waves in the brain. This can affect the blood flow in the brain and reduce the pulsing of CSF during sleep. As a result, the toxic proteins build up in the brain, leading to poorer memory abilities.
In addition, CSF on a brain scan can help scientists see if a person is sleeping or not. Through CSF, scientists can better figure out the brain state and maybe able to develop new treatment options for mental diseases.
The scientists are now going to do further studies about CSF. Maybe in the near future, they can find out ways to better tackle various mental disorders, including autism and Alzheimer's disease.