Lack of Sleep Kills Brain Cells

#Science

Thu, Mar 20th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

The BBC reports on a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience which states that "prolonged lack of sleep led to 25% of certain brain cells dying." If this is true, someone needs to explain to me how I'm still alive.

The study [...] 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.

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