Sleep deprivation obstructs the “cleanness” of the brain

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Sleep deprivation obstructs the “cleanness” of the brain

It stands out from several scientific studies that sleep deprivation obstructs the “cleanness” of the brain. A lack of sleeping, in fact, can lead to a deficit in terms of demolition of potentially neurotoxic waste products, which then accumulate in the central nervous system during the day.

Can sleep deprivation obstruct the “cleanness” of the brain?

Sleep deprivation is a condition that neurobiologists have been studying for years. As early as 2013, an article published on Science magazine showed how mice dispose of potentially-neurotoxic brain waste products through sleeping, so avoiding they can accumulate in the central nervous system during wakefulness. In this way, scientists could prove sleeping is indispensable, demonstrating that, while sleeping, there is a sort of brain “cleanness” in every animal being.

A recent study argues the validity of the theory

A recent study, this time published on Brain magazine, argues the truthfulness of that theory, suggesting those processes happen in the human being also. Researchers have shown lack of sleeping obstructs the elimination of waste molecules, which are a consequence of the neuronal activity during the day. These molecules have so accumulated within the space between cerebral cells. The research was leaded by the university of Oslo. The atheneum recruited 24 volunteers divided into two groups. Seven of them were subjected to a lack of sleeping lasting for an entire night, while the other 17 slept normally. Before the night, gadobutrol, a contrasting agent for magnetic resonance, was administered to everyone. Gadobutrol is a molecule which can be used for evaluating the transportation of excreted water-soluble metabolites along extravascular ways within the brain.

Researchers showed lack of sleeping increases the quantity of β-soluble amyloid, as well as the risk of formation of β-amyloid plaques. Furthermore, levels of tau in the interstitial fluid of hippocampus might increase. Both tau and beta amyloid worsen Alzheimer’s disease. After the night had passed, scientists quantified the presence of gadobutrol in 85 regions of the brain through the magnetic resonance. It stood out that an entire night without sleeping compromised the clearance in a big part of the brain, included the cerebral cortex.


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