The findings have implications for humans as according to the researchers  brain mechanisms that control sleep in fruit flies are similar to those seen in people.Studying three groups of flies, the scientists interfered with their ability to remember by disabling a different critical memory gene in each group.In one group, the disabled gene led the flies to develop a condition with similarities to Alzheimer's disease.

In another group, the disabled gene made it difficult for fly brain cells to reinforce new connections that encode memories. In the third group, the disrupted gene left the flies with too many of these connections."Our data showed that extra sleep can handle any of these problems," said senior author Paul Shaw, associate professor of neurobiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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