Brain Eats Itself: a new finding on sleep deprivation


How long do you sleep?

Only 12 per cent of UAE residents are getting the recommended eight hours or more of sleep each night, according to a research by Bupa Global with a sample size of 1,001 during the period between February and March 2017.

But did you know that insufficient sleep can cause your brain to start eating itself?

Scientists at Marche Polytechnic University in Italy examining sleep deprivation’s impact to mice using 3D microscope (called confocal microscopy) have found sleep deprivation keeps “microglial” cell [which is in charge of brain’s defense against harmful elements like bacteria] activated to the level that could damage (by eating) key elements of the neuron. 

Such damages can ultimately cause Alzheimers or other brain diseases.

Now when you try to stay up very late at night after Iftar, think twice.

This video is based on "Sleep Loss Promotes Astrocytic Phagocytosis and Microglial Activation in Mouse Cerebral Cortex", Michele Bellesi et al., The Journal of Natural Science, May, 2017

Published on 30 May 2017

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