In The News

25 Jul 2011

Fragmented Sleep 'harms memory'

Broken sleep affects the ability to build memories, a study of mice suggests.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science findings could help explain memory problems linked to conditions including Alzheimer’s and sleep apnoea.

The Stanford University found disrupting sleep made it harder for the animals to recognise familiar objects.

A UK sleep expert said the brain used deep sleep to evaluate the day’s events and decide what to keep.

This study looked at sleep that was fragmented, but not shorter or less intense than normal for the mice.

It used a technique called optogenetics, where specific cells are genetically engineered so they can be controlled by light.

They targeted a type of brain cell that plays a key role in switching between the states of being asleep and being awake.

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BBC News

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