Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insomnia: Sleep loss causes brain vulnerability to toxic elements

Date:
June 10, 2014
Source:
Investigación y Desarrollo
Summary:
In search of the answer to why do we sleep, researcher have now revealed that chronic sleep loss can cause certain neurotoxic molecules, which normally circulate in the blood, to be transported to the central nervous system and interfere with the function of neurons. The longer the insomnia, the more junctions of cerebral blood vessels begin to degrade.

In search of the answer to why do we sleep, researchers have revealed that chronic sleep loss can cause certain neurotoxic molecules, which normally circulate in the blood, to be transported to the central nervous system and interfere with the function of neurons.
Credit: © Focus Pocus LTD / Fotolia

In search of the answer to why do we sleep, research conducted at the Mexican Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) revealed that chronic sleep loss can cause certain neurotoxic molecules, which normally circulate in the blood, to be transported to the central nervous system and interfere with the function of neurons.

Beatriz Gómez González, professor and researcher at UAM and head of the scientific project, explained that this phenomenon arises due to an alteration in the central nervous system called blood-brain barrier, which is the component responsible for protecting the brain from potentially neurotoxic agents.

Through the induction of sleep loss on some animals, the specialist at UAM and his staff corroborated that the longer the period of insomnia, joints vessels in the blood-brain barrier began to degrade. "The blood vessels were found not so closely united, we observed that some elements could cross that barrier and reach the brain tissue itself," explained the researcher.

By entering the brain, some nerve agents could potentially affect neuronal function and even promote neuron death. For example, the specialist said, an agent called monosodium glutamate found in a wide range of processed foods may cause neuronal damage by overactivation of these cells (excitotoxicity), although the range of neurotoxic agents circulating in the blood is very extensive.

Furthermore, the research group at UAM studied the risks that could arise as a result of the administration of some drugs to the increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier induced by chronic sleep loss. Gómez González said that, based on some studies, it has been confirmed that some second-generation antihistamines permeate into the brain tissue when this phenomenon occurs.

"Although manufacturers of antibiotic drugs or second-generation antihistamines ensure that these do not affect brain function, there is evidence that these may impact on the central nervous system when there is an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier," said the researcher. This phenomenon may cause some unwanted excitotoxicity effects in neurons, drowsiness, behavioral changes and even neuronal death.

Another phenomenon reported by researchers at UAM, with the induction of sleep loss in animals is the increased number of pinocytotic vesicles in cells. These relate to certain folds of a cell elements and capture materials found in the bloodstream; but this phenomenon may increase the risk of neurotoxic elements entering the brain tissue. "The animals that have been induced sleeplessness develop up to three times these vesicles compared to animals in natural state."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Investigación y Desarrollo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Investigación y Desarrollo. "Insomnia: Sleep loss causes brain vulnerability to toxic elements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610101316.htm>.
Investigación y Desarrollo. (2014, June 10). Insomnia: Sleep loss causes brain vulnerability to toxic elements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610101316.htm
Investigación y Desarrollo. "Insomnia: Sleep loss causes brain vulnerability to toxic elements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610101316.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins