Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Community News Network

October 18, 2013

Sleep: The ultimate brainwasher?

(Continued)

Many neurological diseases — from Alzheimer's disease to stroke and dementia — are associated with sleep disturbances, Nedergaard notes. The study suggests that lack of sleep could have a causal role, by allowing the byproducts to build up and cause brain damage. "This could open a lot of debate for shift workers, who work during the nighttime," Nedergaard predicts. "You probably develop damage if you don't get your sleep."

One unknown, however, is whether the need to remove waste products actively regulates sleep — whether, for example, the buildup of metabolic byproducts makes us sleepy. Researchers also wonder how the fluid-filled channels change shape during sleep, and whether clearing waste actually improves the function of neurons.

Nor are other researchers certain that cleansing is sleep's sole core function. No one function of sleep necessarily rules them all, says sleep scientist Derk-Jan Dijk of the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. "Sleep probably has many functions," he says, just as the weekend is variously for shopping, socializing, and cleaning the house.

But now that Nedergaard and her colleagues have identified this nightly brainwashing in mice, Czeisler says, scientists can investigate whether it occurs in all species, and to what extent. "One could imagine that different species have evolved different additional functions of sleep to suit their different habitats, … but this will help resolve if there is some shared function of sleep across species," he concludes.

This is adapted from ScienceNOW, the online daily news service of the journal Science. http://news.sciencemag.org

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller