Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Sleep deprivation impairs adolescent brain

A chronic lack of sleep during adolescence not only creates feckless adolescents. It also may lead to permanent damage in the brain.

"If you sleep too much during adolescence, especially chronic, can have permanent consequences for the compounds in the brains.

The brain develops during adolescence is hugely: it will form new synapses and are also broken down. "Says Dr. Chiara Cirelli of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


A synapse is a space in the connection between nerve cells. In this space bring neurotransmitters messages. In adult rodents and flies during sleep synapses are weaker and smaller.

This is likely to prepare them for the waking hours in which the synapses back stronger and bigger by new experiences and information.


The researchers compared mice that were allowed to sleep with adolescent mice were kept awake. They followed the formation and breakdown of the number of synapses by counting dendritic spines: these spines contain synapses and allow brain cells to receive signals from other brain cells.

In the mouse brains, there was a difference between sleeping and waking. The density of dendritic spines decreased during sleep and increased during wakefulness.


"This result shows that how long you sleep or lie awake affects the synapse. The important question is what happens when you are chronically sleep, something that many adolescents do.

The consequences of sleep deprivation can be benign, temporary and reversible, "Cirelli says," but it is growing up and functioning of the brains also change permanently. "


No comments: