Researchers reverse effects of sleep deprivation

Jan 02, 2008

Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have shown that the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance can be reversed when the naturally occurring brain peptide, orexin-A, is administered in monkeys.

Their results are published in this week’s Journal of Neuroscience.

“These findings are significant because of their potential applicability,” said Samuel A. Deadwyler, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest. “This could benefit patients suffering from narcolepsy and other serious sleep disorders. But it also has applicability to shift workers, the military and many other occupations where sleep is often limited, yet cognitive demand remains high.”

Orexin-A, also known as hypocretin-1, is a naturally occurring peptide produced in the brain that regulates sleep. It’s secreted by a small number of neurons but affects many brain regions during the day and people who have normal amounts of orexin-A are able to maintain wakefulness. When people or animals are sleep-deprived, the brain attempts to produce more orexin-A, but often without enough success to achieve alertness past the normal day-night cycle.

The research team, consisting of Linda Porrino, Ph.D., and Robert Hampson, Ph.D, also of Wake Forest, and Jerome Siegel, Ph.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles, studied the effects of orexin-A on monkeys that were kept awake overnight for 30 to 36 hours with videos, music, treats and interaction with technicians, until their normal testing time the next day. They were then allowed to perform their trained tasks with several cognitive problems that varied in difficulty, and their performance was significantly impaired.

However, if the sleep deprived monkeys were administered orexin-A either intravenously or via a nasal spray immediately prior to testing, their cognitive skills improved to the normal, non-sleep-deprived, level. The researchers also noted that when the monkeys received the orexin-A via the intranasal spray they tested higher than when it was administered intravenously.


Source: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Explore further: Continued reliance on Windows XP in physician practices may threaten data security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

11 hours ago

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.