Scientists wake up to causes of sleep disruption in Alzheimer’s disease | University of Cambridge


via Scientists wake up to causes of sleep disruption in Alzheimer’s disease | University of Cambridge.

New research using fruit flies with Alzheimer’s protein finds that the disease doesn’t stop the biological clock ticking, but detaches it from the sleep-wake cycle that it usually regulates. Findings could lead to more effective ways to improve sleep patterns in those with Alzheimer’s. Being awake at night and dozing during the day can be a distressing early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, but how the disease disrupts our biological clocks to cause these symptoms has remained elusive. Now, scientists from Cambridge have discovered that in fruit flies with Alzheimer’s the biological clock is still ticking but has become uncoupled from the sleep-wake cycle it usually regulates. The findings – published in Disease Models & Mechanisms – could help develop more effective ways to improve sleep patterns in people with the disease.

We have shown in flies with Alzheimer’s that the clock is still ticking but being ignored by other parts of the brain -Damian Crowther


Warby (2014): Sleep-spindle detection: crowdsourcing and evaluating performance of experts

Sleep-spindle detection: crowdsourcing and evaluating performance of experts, non-experts and automated methods

PDF: Warby_NM_xx_1-8_suppl-info_2014_spindles-crowdsourcing

Warby 2014

Simon C Warby1, Sabrina L Wendt1,2, Peter Welinder3, Emil G S Munk1,2, Oscar Carrillo1, Helge B D Sorensen4, Poul Jennum2, Paul E Peppard5, Pietro Perona3 & Emmanuel Mignot1

Sleep spindles are discrete, intermittent patterns of brain activity observed in human electroencephalographic data. Increasingly, these oscillations are of biological and clinical interest because of their role in development, learning and neurological disorders. We used an Internet interface to crowdsource spindle identification by human experts and non-experts, and we compared their performance with that of automated detection algorithms in data from middle- to older-aged subjects from the general population. We also refined methods for forming group consensus and evaluating the performance of event detectors in physiological data such as electroencephalographic recordings from polysomnography. Compared to the expert group consensus gold standard, the highest performance was by individual experts and the non-expert group consensus, followed by automated spindle detectors. This analysis showed that crowdsourcing the scoring of sleep data is an efficient method to collect large data sets, even for difficult tasks such as spindle identification. Further refinements to spindle detection algorithms are needed for middle- to older-aged subjects.

Bright light may breed stronger emotions

via Mobile.

University of Toronto Scarborough researcher finds link between brightness, emotion

Feb 21, 2014 4:17 PM ET

If you ever feel like your emotions are getting the best of you, you may want to try dimming the lights. According to researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough, bright light can make us more emotional — for better or for worse — making us experience both positive and negative feelings more intensely. The findings seem to contradict commonly held notions that people feel happier and more optimistic on bright, sunny days and gloomier on dark, cloudy days. In fact, the idea for the study was spurred by findings that suicide rates peak in the late spring and summer, when sunshine is most abundant. “I was very surprised by this,” study author Alison Jing Xu told CBC News. Xu is an assistant professor of management at UTSC and the Rotman School of Management. “Normally I would say if brighter days generally increase people’s affect, then suicide rates should peak in winter — but actually it does not,” she said. Xu, along with the study’s co-author Aparna Labroo of Northwestern University in the U.S., conducted six experiments to explore the relationship between light and emotion. Their paper is published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Participants in each case were divided into two groups: Some were placed in a brightly lit room where fluorescent ceiling lights were turned on, while others were placed in a dimly lit room where the only light came from computer monitors.

Researchers identify switch in brain that sends us off to sleep

The switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep has been identified by researchers at Oxford University’s Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in a study in fruit flies.

The switch works by regulating the activity of a handful of sleep-promoting nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. The neurons fire when we’re tired and need sleep, and dampen down when we’re fully rested.

‘When you’re tired, these neurons in the brain shout loud and they send you to sleep,’ says Professor Gero Miesenb-ck of Oxford University, in whose laboratory the new research was performed.

Although the research was carried out in fruit flies, or Drosophila, the scientists say the sleep mechanism is likely to be relevant to humans.

Dr Jeffrey Donlea, one of the lead authors of the study, explains: ‘There is a similar group of neurons in a region of the human brain. These neurons are also electrically active during sleep and, like the flies’ cells, are the targets of general anaesthetics that put us to sleep. It’s therefore likely that a molecular mechanism similar to the one we have discovered in flies also operates in humans.’

The researchers say that pinpointing the sleep switch might help us identify new targets for novel drugs – potentially to improve treatments for sleep disorders.

But there is much still to find out, and further research could give insight into the big unanswered question of why we need to sleep at all, they say.

‘The big question now is to figure out what internal signal the sleep switch responds to,’ says Dr Diogo Pimentel of Oxford University, the other lead author of the study. ‘What do these sleep-promoting cells monitor while we are awake?

via Researchers identify switch in brain that sends us off to sleep.

Sleep’s Hidden Histories |

Sleep’s Hidden Histories |.

Benjamin Reiss on The Slumbering Masses : Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life and24/7 : Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep andDangerously Sleepy : Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness

Sleep’s Hidden Histories

February 15th, 2014RESET+

EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT couldn’t have a history now has one. Foucault had something to do with this, with his histories of madness and sexuality; and de Certeau — the other Michel — gave verve to the historical activities of wandering around, cooking, and various other non-epic feats. Since the age of the Michels, we’ve had histories of conversation, boredom, shit, death, breasts, penises, tasting, happiness, smiling, laughing, celibacy, masturbation, taking out the trash, obsession, collective joy, and sadness. (The editor of this publication has offered his own entries on crying and slacking.) Things that we do or experience in private, things we might expect to read about in novels or talk about in therapy, have now generated a hidden-histories boomlet. The best of these works not only make the familiar strange, but they make us think differently about history and its intimate relation to our own lives.

Pourquoi le cerveau se souvient-il des rêves? | Salle de presse | INSERM

Dream & Nightmare Lab

Pourquoi le cerveau se souvient-il des rêves? | Salle de presse | Press Room | INSERM .

Certaines personnes se souviennent de leurs rêves tous les matins alors que d’autres s’en souviennent rarement. L’équipe de Perrine Ruby, chargée de recherche Inserm, au sein du centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon (Inserm / CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) a étudié l’activité cérébrale de ces rêveurs afin de comprendre ce qui les différencient. Dans une étude publiée dans la revue Neuropsychopharmacology, les chercheurs montrent que la jonction temporo-pariétale, un carrefour du traitement de l’information dans le cerveau, est plus active chez les grands rêveurs. Elle induirait une plus grande réactivité aux stimulations extérieures, faciliterait ainsi le réveil au cours du sommeil, ce qui favoriserait la mémorisation des rêves.

L’origine du rêve continue d’être un mystère pour les chercheurs qui étudient la différence entre les “grands rêveurs”, qui parviennent…

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Sleep drugs can affect men and women differently – 60 Minutes

for 60 Minutes video: Drugs can affect men and women differently – CBS News.

60minutes on drugs sex

Differences between sexes are more pervasive than previously thought; scientists call for a re-examination of medical research, including drug dosages, based on sex

Differences between men and women prompted the FDA last year to recommend that each take different dosages of this country’s most popular sleep drug, Ambien.  The FDA cut the suggested dose for women in half after new studies showed that women were more likely to be left the next morning with levels of the drug in their bodies that could impair driving an automobile.  That’s because women metabolize Ambien differently,