New findings presented today report the important role sleep plays, and the brain mechanisms at work as sleep shapes memory, learning, and behavior. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
One in five American adults show signs of chronic sleep deprivation, making the condition a widespread public health problem. Sleeplessness is related to health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and memory problems.
Today's findings show that:
Other recent findings discussed show:
"As these research findings show, we cannot underestimate the importance of a good night's sleep," said press conference moderator Clifford Saper, PhD, MD, from the Harvard Medical School, an expert on sleep and its deprivation. "Brain imaging and behavioral studies are illuminating the brain pathways that are blocked or contorted by sleep deprivation, and the risks this poses to learning, memory, and mental health."
This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.
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