Breaking News
November 21, 2018 - Disrupting reproduction strategy of disease-causing parasites could help fight malaria
November 20, 2018 - ACAAI: Almost 2 Percent of Children Have Milk Allergy
November 20, 2018 - Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract – Genetics Home Reference
November 20, 2018 - Can video games improve the health of older adults with schizophrenia?
November 20, 2018 - Can flicking a molecular switch restore the aging immune system’s competence?
November 20, 2018 - Restek launches new Oregon cannabis pesticide standards
November 20, 2018 - Health sector coalition urges Government to safeguard patients in future UK-EU relationship
November 20, 2018 - Study evaluates second-hand marijuana smoke exposure among children
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify multisystem disorder caused by bi-allelic variants in CCDC47 gene
November 20, 2018 - Dining Out With Allergies Is Tough, But These Steps Can Help
November 20, 2018 - Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
November 20, 2018 - AI matched, outperformed radiologists in screening X-rays for certain diseases | News Center
November 20, 2018 - Adolescents increasingly choose marijuana over cigarettes, alcohol
November 20, 2018 - World’s first medical imaging scanner produces diagnostic scan of the whole human body
November 20, 2018 - Cytocybernetics receives NIMH award to move into neuronal drug development
November 20, 2018 - Recreational drug may help people regain trust in others
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify gene vital for post-stroke recovery
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify novel target for neuron regeneration, functional recovery in spinal cord injury
November 20, 2018 - Potential new therapeutic approach developed for synovial sarcoma
November 20, 2018 - Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom
November 20, 2018 - Autism behaviors show unique brain network fingerprints in infants
November 20, 2018 - Location matters for inflammation clearance
November 20, 2018 - Towards finding a druggable cancer target
November 20, 2018 - Ultragenyx Announces Intent to Submit New Drug Application to U.S. FDA for UX007 for the Treatment of Long-chain Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders in Mid-2019
November 20, 2018 - Cooling ‘brains on fire’ to treat Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - Less pollution could increase the average lifespan of Copenhageners by an entire year in 2040
November 20, 2018 - Abramson Cancer Center becomes the 28th member institution of National Comprehensive Cancer Network
November 20, 2018 - The plug and play time-resolved spectrometer from PicoQuant
November 20, 2018 - Breakthrough technology offers new hope to people with glaucoma, retinitis and macular degeneration
November 20, 2018 - New report highlights key focus areas to help cancer screening realize its full potential
November 20, 2018 - International experts to discuss strategies to maintain spatial orientation in old age
November 20, 2018 - Low-protein, high-carb diet may promote healthy brain ageing
November 20, 2018 - Scientists discover new inhibitor that decreases lung inflammation
November 20, 2018 - Participation project calls for relaxing research ban on germline interventions
November 20, 2018 - Karyopharm’s Selinexor Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
November 20, 2018 - Arthritis by the Numbers: Book of Trusted Facts & Figures
November 20, 2018 - Drug homing method helps rethink Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - AHF commends the passage of global AIDS funding in the House, calls for swift approval
November 20, 2018 - The search for new psychiatric disorder treatments
November 20, 2018 - New research offers hope for simpler way to diagnose and treat cancer
November 20, 2018 - Study sheds light on the infection mechanism of influenza virus
November 20, 2018 - Storage failures of eggs and embryos gain a new perspective
November 20, 2018 - Buyers of short-term health plans: Wise or shortsighted?
November 20, 2018 - Study indicates that frogs in virus-exposed groups breed at young age
November 20, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not To Use Sterile Drug Products from Pharm D Solutions
November 20, 2018 - Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
November 20, 2018 - Live probiotics can change existing gut flora and alter immune response
November 20, 2018 - Researchers to explore the enigmatic role of unstructured protein in regulating circadian function
November 20, 2018 - Many patients with adenomas do not receive colonoscopy within recommended time frame
November 20, 2018 - Drug used to treat PTSD does not reduce suicidal thinking, may worsen nightmares and insomnia
November 20, 2018 - In-person social contact may offer protection against depression and PTSD symptoms
November 20, 2018 - Routine HCV testing in correctional facilities can best identify and treat disease, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Molecular DNA analysis could facilitate more accurate prognosis, treatment of aggressive brain tumors
November 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate Not Up With Autologous Fat Transfer
November 20, 2018 - Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 20, 2018 - Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?
November 20, 2018 - Urine test to check if patients take their medications will save the NHS money, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Study reveals impact of residual inflammatory risk on clinical outcomes after PCI
November 20, 2018 - RNAi therapy shown to alleviate preeclampsia
November 20, 2018 - Replacement of dysfunctional microglia has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases
November 20, 2018 - Forming 3D Neuronal Models of the Brain
November 20, 2018 - Shoulder ultrasounds could be used to predict diabetes
November 20, 2018 - SGLT2 Inhibitors for Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk for Amputation
November 20, 2018 - Stem cell transplant cements Arizona men’s father-son bond
November 20, 2018 - Scientists try to develop portable systems that can quickly produce biologics on demand
November 20, 2018 - Automating Data Capture and Image Analysis in Continuous Experiments
November 20, 2018 - New drug shows promise for treating people with peanut allergy
November 20, 2018 - Researchers develop novel mouse model to study immunomodulatory therapies
November 20, 2018 - “Britain must not go backward on antibiotic controls to appease US trade deals” – Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor
November 20, 2018 - Widespread errors in ‘proofreading’ cause inherited blindness
November 20, 2018 - Reaping the benefits of living longer
November 20, 2018 - New Program Hopes to Make Early Detection and Treatment of ALS a Reality
November 19, 2018 - Artificial bone-like substance mimics the way real bone grows at atomic level
November 19, 2018 - FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation To RGX-181 Gene Therapy For The Treatment Of CLN2 Form Of Batten Disease
November 19, 2018 - Systemic mastocytosis – Genetics Home Reference
November 19, 2018 - Eye trauma secondary to falls in older adults increasing
November 19, 2018 - Empowering women in India to improve their health: A Q&A
November 19, 2018 - Researchers have trained a computer to analyze breast cancer images and classify tumors
November 19, 2018 - New glucose binding molecule could be key to better metabolic control for diabetics
Sleep deprivation study to pinpoint brain processes causing poor decision-making

Sleep deprivation study to pinpoint brain processes causing poor decision-making

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Sleep deprivation can take a heavy toll on our ability to make sound decisions, with potentially disastrous outcomes. With support from a $2.8 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense, a team of researchers from Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center will embark on a new three-year research study to find out how exactly this works inside the brain.

Funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, the project will lay the groundwork for the development of new countermeasures to reduce the harmful cognitive effects of sleep deprivation in military operations and other around-the-clock, safety-critical settings.

Cognitive flexibility reduced by sleep loss

The research study deals with a function of the brain known as cognitive flexibility, the ability to change our thinking based on new information. Previous studies by members of the WSU research team have found that cognitive flexibility is particularly affected by sleep deprivation, much more so than most other cognitive processes involved in decision-making.

They also identified a gene that predicts how well sleep-deprived people perform on tasks that require cognitive flexibility. This gene is involved in the regulation of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain linked to the brain’s control of attention. It is found in a brain area known as the striatum, where its effects are intertwined with another gene, which regulates adenosine, a brain chemical that makes us feel sleepy.

“Scientists have known that the striatum is involved in the regulation of sleep deprivation, but they haven’t previously recognized why it is so important for cognitive performance,” said the study’s lead investigator Hans Van Dongen, director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center and a professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “Based on our earlier findings, we suspect that the striatum — where the systems that regulate dopamine and adenosine interact — causes these cognitive flexibility issues in people who are sleep deprived.”

Experiments to pinpoint brain processes

To test this idea, the research team will conduct human and animal experiments. First, they will develop a task to measure cognitive flexibility in rodents. Subsequently, they will employ the task in a sleep-deprivation experiment in rats. The researchers also will use optogenetics, a technique that allows them to selectively activate neurons with laser light. They will do this to control the activity of neurons in the striatum, which will enable them to see where and how changes in the effects of sleep deprivation on the rats’ cognitive flexibility occur.

During the human study, 90 healthy adult volunteers will each spend three days in the sleep laboratory on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus. After a night of normal sleep, the participants will be kept awake the next night, followed by a night of recovery sleep. They will complete a cognitive flexibility task after the first night’s sleep and again 24 hours later while they are sleep deprived. Prior to their second cognitive test, they will take an existing drug that works inside the striatum to fight the effects of sleep loss in general — such as caffeine — or a placebo.

“Based on their genes, we think people will respond differently to the sleep deprivation challenge and to the drug they’re given, which will provide important information about the brain processes involved.” Van Dongen said.

Together, the two experiments will offer critical insight into how sleep loss results in cognitive flexibility deficits, which will provide researchers with a target for future drug development to specifically address cognitive flexibility impairment from sleep loss. This may ultimately benefit anyone working long hours and odd shifts in high-paced, safety-critical environments, such as military operations, emergency response, medical care, and energy production.

“Conducting parallel studies with humans and animals is a powerful way to characterize the cognitive deficits due to sleep loss and identify the underlying brain processes,” said study co-investigator Marcos Frank, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “This joint project will open up areas of basic and translational science that will generate new knowledge and improve people’s lives.”​

Source:

Sleep study targets brain processes causing poor decision-making

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles