While the negative impacts of sleep deprivation on physical health are well-known, it also significantly raises the risk of serious cognitive disorders.
This revelation comes from a recent medical study.
Research published in the Journal of Proteome Research revealed that sleep deprivation not only increases irritability but also heightens the risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s and other brain-related diseases.
The study aimed to determine how exactly a lack of sleep harms cognitive health. Experiments were conducted on mice to identify a crucial protein that decreases in quantity due to sleep deprivation, leading to the death of brain cells.
Previous studies had identified certain elements harmful to the brain when sleep-deprived. In this latest research, these elements were examined further by depriving mice of sleep for two days.
After this period, proteins were extracted from the brain sections of these animals to observe the extent of their alteration. This data was then compared to proteins from well-rested mice.
Researchers discovered a protein called pleiotrophin (PTN), the levels of which had decreased in the sleep-deprived mice.
Upon detailed analysis, experts concluded that a reduction in PTN levels leads to the death of brain cells. They then analyzed genetic research conducted on humans and deduced that a decrease in PTN potentially increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
Their findings suggest that PTN levels could be used to predict brain disorders potentially caused by sleep deprivation in individuals.