Sleep Deprivation Causing Enzyme Discovered
According to researcher Robbert Havekes and his colleagues, there is hope for those suffering from constant sleep deprivation and the connected health effects, such as forgetfulness, memory problems and impaired learning.
Havekes and his colleagues conducted a study in which mice were kept awake for five hours. The mice showed increased levels of the enzyme PDE4 and lower levels of molecule cAMP, which plays a crucial role in the brain’s ability to learn.
The scientists repressed the activity of the PDE4 enzyme and found that sleep deprivation was then counteracted. The lack of sleep caused increased PDE4 activity, which then blocked the activity of the cAMP molecule. Therefore, fewer connections were being formed or strengthened in the brain.
This discovery displays the effect of sleep deprivation and how it can be eliminated. According to Havekes, drugs that stimulate cAMP may make counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation possible, relieving the millions of people suffering from the uncomfortable disorder.