Scientists prevent memory problems caused by sleep deprivation

November 18, 2014
Science Daily/University of Pennsylvania
Scientists have found that a particular set of cells in a small region of the brain are responsible for memory problems after sleep loss. By selectively increasing levels of a signaling molecule in these cells, the researchers prevented mice from having memory deficits.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a team led by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania found that a particular set of cells in a small region of the brain are responsible for memory problems after sleep loss. By selectively increasing levels of a signaling molecule in these cells, the researchers prevented mice from having memory deficits.

"The challenge following this important study," Abel said, "was to determine if the impact of sleep deprivation was mediated by particular regions of the brain and particular neural circuits. We suspected that the hippocampus, the brain region that mediates spatial navigation and contextual memory, was critical."

"Thinking about people who do shift work or doctors who work long hours, if we can tackle the cognitive problems that result from sleep loss, that would be a great thing," Havekes said.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141118182458.htm

 

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