Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News | Also on the Geek Mind

 

Lack Of Sleep Kills Brain Cells

Mar 20 2014, 5:51am CDT | by

1 Updates
Lack Of Sleep Kills Brain Cells, New Study Suggests

Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Lack Of Sleep Kills Brain Cells

If you’re burning the midnight oil, you may be burning out brain cells, too, new research shows. A study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience found that staying awake too long destroys brain cells in mice, and may do the same in humans.

It’s the first study to show (if only in animals) that sleep loss can lead to irreversible brain cell damage.

Researchers from the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania found that prolonging wakefulness damages a particular type of brain cell called locus ceruleus (LC) neurons, which play an important role in keeping us alert and awake.

“We now have evidence that sleep loss can lead to irreversible injury,” says lead author Sigrid Veasey, MD, associate professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. ”This might be in a simple animal but this suggests to us that we are going to have to look very carefully in humans.”

In collaboration with colleagues at Peking University, the researchers looked at the brains of mice subjected to sleep conditions similar to late night or shift work and found that disrupted circadian rhythms resulted in degeneration of LC brain cells and ultimately apoptosis, or cell death.

The researchers limited the test mice to four to five hours of sleep over each 24-hour time period. After just three days of sleep deprivation the mice experienced a 25% loss of LCs in a particular section of the brain stem.

The study was done in mice, so further research is required before we’ll know if similar cell death occurs in humans. However, the researchers said, they planned to extend the results to humans by conducting autopsies to examine the brain cells of shift workers.

Concern about brain changes from lack of sleep has mounted in recent months with the publication of several other key studies. In January, sleep researchers at the University of Surrey linked sleep loss with disruptions in gene function that could affect metabolism, inflammation, and longterm disease risk to body and brain.

And in October a groundbreaking study showed how sleep may “detox” the brain, flushing out waste products linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A Nation at Risk for Sleep Deprivation

But Americans don’t seem to be listening. Whether its college students in libraries, truck drivers on the interstates, or cubicle- and office-dwellers in high-rises, we feel increasing pressure to prove our dedication – and best the competition – with longer and longer hours.

As a result, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced that insufficient sleep is now “epidemic” in America.

According to a CDC survey of almost 75,000 adults, more than a third (35 percent) said they got on average less than seven hours of sleep a night, and 38 percent said they had been tired enough to unintentionally drop off to sleep during the day at least once in the past month.

In addition, a startling 48 percent said they snored, a characteristic frequently associated with poor sleep, while 4.7% admitted to nodding off or falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the past month.

Still, there is good news as well. A positive take-away from the study was the discovery that a protein called SirT3 (full name sirtuin type 3) protects LCs from the damage caused by lack of sleep. This points the way towards the development of future treatments to boost SirT3 production and thus protect brain cells from damage due to lack of sleep.

For more health news, follow me here on Forbes.com, on Twitter, @MelanieHaiken, and subscribe to my posts on Facebook.

Source: Forbes

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Jennifer Aniston tasted Jimmy Kimmel&#039;s Wife’s Breast Milk
Jennifer Aniston tasted Jimmy Kimmel's Wife’s Breast Milk
The Friends starlet, Jennifer Aniston shared some very personal matters with the press recently. They included tasting her male friend Jimmy Kimmel's wife’s breast milk! Jimmy Kimmel's
 
 
Gwyneth Paltrow facing Lawsuit
Gwyneth Paltrow facing Lawsuit
The famous actress and creator of a website named Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow, is facing a lawsuit by a man who claims she plagiarized his creative phrase. And she is also concerned about her ex-husband’s new relationships.
 
 
Ashlee Simpson celebrates Evan Ross Birthday Bash
Ashlee Simpson celebrates Evan Ross Birthday Bash
The pop starlet, Ashlee Simpson celebrated her fiance’s birthday bash and also wore a special hat later on in the style of Mary Poppins.
 
 
iPhone 6 from Apple: Where to Next?
iPhone 6 from Apple: Where to Next?
With the arrival of the iPhone 6, the question for the execs at Apple Incorporated is: where to next?
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.