Areal, Warby, Mongrain (2016)Posted: January 18, 2017
Sleep loss and structural plasticity, Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Wakefulness and sleep are dynamic states during which brain
functioning is modified and shaped. Sleep loss is detrimental to
many brain functions and results in structural changes localized
at synapses in the nervous system. In this review, we present
and discuss some of the latest observations of structural
changes following sleep loss in some vertebrates and insects.
We also emphasize that these changes are region-specific and
cell type-specific and that, most importantly, these structural
modifications have functional roles in sleep regulation and brain
functions. Selected mechanisms driving structural
modifications occurring with sleep loss are also discussed.
Overall, recent research highlights that extending wakefulness
impacts synapse number and shape, which in turn regulate
sleep need and sleep-dependent learning/memory.