CogniFit's Science blog: Scientists Find Way To Reverse Insomnia Induced Cognitive Impairment

Scientists Find Way To Reverse Insomnia Induced Cognitive Impairment

Sleep deprivation affects cognitive function. Learning and memory are the cognitive functions most affected by lack of sleep.
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a molecular pathway in the brain that causes the cognitive impairment due to insomnia. They have also found that by reducing the concentration of a specific enzyme that builds up in the hippocampus, they can reduce the inability to focus, learn or memorize that is symptomatic of sleep deprivation.

The scientists found that when mice were sleep deprived a specific molecular pathway in the hippocampus, the area in the brain that is important for memory and learning, was affected. The levels of the enzyme PDE4 increased and the levels of the molecule cAMP decreased when mice were sleep deprived.

cAMP is crucial for forming new synaptic connections in the hippocampus, which is an indicator of learning. When the researchers treated the mice with a PDE inhibitor, the levels of cAMP increased and counteracted some of the memory problems caused by sleep deprivation.

The research identified a treatment in mice that can reverse the cognitive affects of sleep deprivation. The research also identified specific changes in neurons caused by sleep deprivation, which could lead to help find alternative ways to treat the cognitive effects of sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Different scientific studies have also been publicized on the relation between brain training and insomnia. Again, it's all in the brain!