Lack of sleep causes brain damage
1 January 2014
A new study from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that one night
of sleep deprivation increases morning blood concentrations of
chemicals derived from brain tissue.
The two chemicals, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100 calcium
binding protein B (S-100B) are typically found in the brain. Fifteen
normal-weight men participated in the study in which they were
sleep-deprived for one night and compared to sleeping for
approximately 8 hours.
“We observed that a night of total
sleep loss was followed by increased blood concentrations of NSE and
S-100B. These brain molecules typically rise in blood under
conditions of brain damage. Thus, our results indicate that a lack
of sleep may promote neurodegenerative processes”, says sleep
researcher Christian Benedict at the Department of Neuroscience,
Uppsala University, who lead the study. “In conclusion, the findings
of our trial indicate that a good night’s sleep may be critical for
maintaining brain health."
Benedict C, et al. Acute sleep deprivation increases serum levels
of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100 calcium binding protein B
(S-100B) in healthy young men. SLEEP (in press).