Lost sleep leads to loss of brain cells, study suggests

20

Sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought, causing a permanent loss of brain cells, research suggests.

In mice, prolonged lack of sleep led to 25% of certain brain cells dying, according to a study in The Journal of Neuroscience.

If the same is true in humans, it may be futile to try to catch up on missed sleep, say US scientists.

They think it may one day be possible to develop a drug to protect the brain from the side-effects of lost sleep.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, looked at lab mice that were kept awake to replicate the kind of sleep loss common in modern life, through night shifts or long hours in the office.

A team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied certain brain cells which are involved in keeping the brain alert.

After several days of sleep patterns similar to those followed by night workers – three days of night shifts with only four to five hours sleep in 24 hours – the mice lost 25% of the brain cells, in part of the brain stem.

The researchers say this is the first evidence that sleep loss can lead to a loss of brain cells.

But they add that more work needs to be done to find out if people who miss out on sleep might also be at risk of permanent damage.

Written By: Helen Briggs
continue to source article at bbc.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. And in a sub study researchers found that mice who were kept awake while Fox News was playing in the background had a doubling effect of brain cell loss. This is a concern for those who stay up late watching Fox.

  2. Well, shit – half my brain must be gone already!

    This is scary, considering that some of the most sleep-deprived people are those performing critical jobs – EMTs, doctors, nurses, air-traffic controllers – not to mention people like factory workers building cars, planes, or those inspecting our food and other products for safety. It’s terrifying realizing that a large percentage of people driving cars on the freeway around you at 70 mph are half-asleep or zoned out, while the rest are texting on their phones.

  3. “In the long-term, they think it might be possible to develop a medicine that protects brain cells, by boosting a natural chemical involved in sleep recovery.”

    So that the slave masters can maintain the rhythms of death for workers and ignore inhumane work practices in the pursuit of profits for the rich.

    • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

      “In the long-term, they think it might be possible to develop a medicine that protects brain cells, by boosting a natural chemical involved in sleep recovery.”

      So that the slave masters can maintain the rhythms of death for workers and ignore inhumane work practices in the pursuit of profits for th…

      The same thought immediately crossed my mind. And which, by the way, was Edison’s driving motive in developing a functional incandescent light bulb. It permitted factories to operate 24 hours a day.

    • So that the slave masters can maintain the rhythms of death for workers and ignore inhumane work practices in the pursuit of profits for the rich.

      Right. And all you have to do to avoid this inhumane ‘slavery’ is… not apply for the job.

      But look on the bright side. Keep writing like that and you’re bound to be offered a position at the Daily Mail…

      • In reply to #10 by BenS:

        Right. And all you have to do to avoid this inhumane ‘slavery’ is… not apply for the job.

        Which assumes that the worker’s choice is not between a menial, possibly dangerous, possibly degrading, probably under-paid job and a complete lack of income.

      • In reply to #10 by BenS:

        So that the slave masters can maintain the rhythms of death for workers and ignore inhumane work practices in the pursuit of profits for the rich.

        Right. And all you have to do to avoid this inhumane ‘slavery’ is… not apply for the job.

        But you wont have any excuse not to be available 24 /7 if theres a pill to cure your loss of sleep and brain cells…..day – night -who cares – take pills……!!!

        But look on the bright side. Keep writing like that and you…

        Yeah job at the Daily Mail – Meh ! I dont do Lundun……..It does sound a bit Russel Brand though !
        have you seen him doing the Trews on Facebok its funny as ….

    • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

      “In the long-term, they think it might be possible to develop a medicine that protects brain cells, by boosting a natural chemical involved in sleep recovery.”

      So that the slave masters can maintain the rhythms of death for workers and ignore inhumane work practices in the pursuit of profits for th…

      Exactly. Why not just let people have more time to sleep? What’s wrong with that? Sometimes the simplest solution really is the best.

  4. Scary. I worked for years on alternating shifts and lost months of sleep in the process. I still lose a lot of sleep. So I must be close to brain dead by now… I hope it doesn’t get to a point where I start believing that religion, moral relativism and astrology (gasp!!) make sense or worse yet, that Quebec novelists have anything interesting and not blatantly narcissistic to write about.

  5. tell us something we don’t already know. and stop trying to scare the insomniacs, who are only too aware of the dangers of loss of sleep. articles like this are not constructive or helpful. they are merely scare mongering. rather, they ought to be more responsible and constructive by offering solutions.

    • In reply to #9 by Net:
      To be more accurate, this article may scare the wits out of insomniac mice.

      tell us something we don’t already know. and stop trying to scare the insomniacs, who are only too aware of the dangers of loss of sleep. articles like this are not constructive or helpful. they are merely scare mongering. rather, they ought to be more responsible and constructive by offering so…

  6. But on the other hand, learning and processing new info every day creates new brain cells so lack of sleep and alcohol damaged brain cells may be rapidly repaired or regrown, Im hoping…glug..glug..sip

  7. Hopefully more research can show us the link between, narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders, if indeed they are such. A fairly recent article on the BBC website talked about the normality of having 2 sleeps a day. In the days before capitalism demanded a 12 hour working day or worse, of course.

  8. My apes are getting more stupid now I think about it. I have told them to get more sleep in the afternoon plenty of times. just this morning when I came in from my pre-dawn sortee to ask if breakfast might be early I commented on them not looking like they’d slept well

  9. I am getting really annoyed at you, because I see this not the first time: please give a source for the article. Hint: the journal of neuroscience is a journal (look at the name), it’s not the article. The journal of neuroscience publishes hundreds of articles each month, and of course you don’t say when the article was published. The last few times at least you mentioned names of researchers so it was easier to find the study, this time you didn’t even care to mention them. Please improve.

  10. In reply to #9 by Net:
    To be more accurate, this article may scare the wits out of insomniac mice.

    tell us something we don’t already know. and stop trying to scare the insomniacs, who are only too aware of the dangers of loss of sleep. articles like this are not constructive or helpful. they are merely scare mongering. rather, they ought to be more responsible and constructive by offering so…

Leave a Reply