Research in monkeys suggests that a new drug can temporarily improve performance and reverse the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain, which would be a breakthrough in helping shift workers, health professionals, military personnel and others who must function at top performance in spite of sleep deficits.
"In addition to improving performance under normal conditions, the drug restored performance that was impaired after sleep loss," said Samuel Deadwyler, Ph.D., senior researcher, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "Brain imaging revealed that one basis for the drugs effects was to reverse changes in brain patterns induced by sleep deprivation."
The studys results are reported on-line today in the journal Public Library of Science- Biology. The drug, currently known as CX717, is designed to act on a type of receptor located throughout the brain that is involved in cell-to-cell communication. It has been tested in sleep-deprived humans with positive results, according to the developer, Cortex Pharmaceuticals.
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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