WSU researchers studying fruit flies to see how sleep affects our health

Researchers at Washington State University are using fruit flies to help them figure out why sleep is so important to our health.

The study uses the flies’ cells to figure out how our brains handle sleep.

By keeping some flies awake for 24 hours at a time, they can see how the cells react.

Researchers say the study may also help diseases like Alzheimer’s.

“If we can block a cycle from forming where we have more sleep disturbance, more Alzheimer’s, more Alzheimer’s, more sleep disturbance… maybe we can delay the progression of that disease,” said Jason Gerstner, a clinical assistant professor.

The study is part of a $1.9 million grant the College of Medicine was just awarded. It could last as long as five years.