Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New drug reverses effects of sleep deprivation on brain

23.08.2005


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 drug’s effects was to reverse changes in brain patterns induced by sleep deprivation."

The study’s 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.


The Wake Forest research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as part of a larger effort to mitigate or eliminate the effect of sleep deprivation on military personnel, and by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to Deadwyler, the research team included Linda J. Porrino, Ph.D., James Daunais, Ph.D., Robert Hampson, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest, and Gary Rogers from Cortex Pharmaceuticals.

The researchers first tested normal, alert monkeys on a matching task similar to a video game. Each monkey was shown one clip art picture at one position on the screen, and after a delay of one to 30 seconds, picked the original out of a random display of two to six different images to get a juice reward. The monkeys were then given varying doses of the drug and re-tested. At the highest dose tested, the drug improved performance to near perfect for the easier trials and by about 15 percent overall.

Next, the monkeys were tested after they were sleep-deprived for 30 to 36 hours, which Deadwyler estimates is equivalent to humans going 72 hours without sleep. When compared to when they were alert, the monkeys’ overall performance was reduced under all test conditions, even on the easiest trials. But, when the monkeys were again sleep-deprived and re-tested after being given CX717, their performance was restored to normal levels.

The researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to gain images of brain activity while the animals were performing the matching task. These scans showed that the drug was able to reverse most of the changes in activity patterns that occurred with sleep deprivation – which may explain its success at increasing performance.

The PET images showed that when the monkeys were performing the task while sleep-deprived, activity in the frontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with higher mental processing, decreased and activity in the temporal lobe, associated with memory for recent events, increased. The researchers suspect that this might be the brain’s way of compensating for the effects of sleep deprivation. After the drug was administered, the brain patterns in these regions returned to normal.

"The effect was to reverse the patterns of activation to the same as when the animal performed the task under normal conditions," Deadwyler said. "The drug didn’t cause overall brain arousal, but increased the ability of certain affected areas to become active in a normal, non-sleep-deprived manner."

The drug, known as an ampakine, is designed to target AMPA receptors that are located throughout the brain. These receptors are part of the cellular communication process that involves the neurotransmitter glutamate. The drug prolongs the action of glutamate, allowing more effective communication. Because the drug acts differently from caffeine and other stimulants, it does not seem to result in side effects such as hyperactivity, distorted thinking or extended wakefulness.

"It’s possible that ampakines could also be used to enhance other cognitive deficits, such as occur in Alzheimer’s disease, after a stroke or other forms of dementia," Deadwyler said.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea
10.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique
10.12.2018 | Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

ETRI exchanged quantum information on daylight in a free-space quantum key distribution

10.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>