Does sleep deprivation make your brain leak

He J, Hsuchou H, He Y, Kastin AJ, Wang Y, Pan W. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function. J Neurosci. 2014;34:14697-706.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. 

It is well known that MSers can have poor sleep, whilst this is a consequence of MS this study could question whether sleep problems are part of the problem. So in this study it was decided to provide chronic sleep deprivation for a week and they found evidence of leakage of things into the brain, which righted itself after a day. Is this relevant to MSers? Inmates at Guantanamo Bay? or Researchers.

However, what is the difference between sleep deficits and mental torture.  The study of sleep problems and brain leakage could be amenable to human study and that way one can work out if these findings in animal experiments have relevance to humans. 
As a person who does not sleep a lot, I wonder what 6 days of sleep deprivation does. I can do 24h no problems,but can say that after 4 days of sleep deprivation (1h a night trying to meet a deadline) you go GaGa. I don’t think MSers are GaGa and so wonder how relevant this is. As every it needs repeating, that is if you could get ethical approval to do this.

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  • I would of thought good quality sleep is vital for the body to repair itself. Especially during an infection or relapse. If lesions do remyelinate is this process mainly at night time when we sleep? Levels of cortisol drop during sleep.

  • Yes I can believe sleep deprevation can make the brain leak and cause other problems too. I've been reading about PTSD and how that can have an effect on the immune system. PTSD can cause serious sleep problems including night terrors, insomnia and sleep apneoa due to stress and anxiety. If I remember right wasn't there a Big Brother type TV show where the contestants were restricted on how much sleep they could have? it was some years ago. I can't seem to see anything about on the web. I can see getting ethical approval might be difficult to do a study. I think Margaret Thatcher just had four hours sleep a night.

  • I did nightshift work years ago, wonder if that made my brain leak. I read that no more than two years of nightshift work is recommened.

    Doing the night shift throws the body "into chaos" and could cause long-term damage, warn researchers.
    Shift work has been linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and cancer.
    Now scientists at the Sleep Research Centre in Surrey have uncovered the disruption shift work causes at the deepest molecular level.
    Experts said the scale, speed and severity of damage caused by being awake at night was a surprise.

  • Anyone who's been a patient on a neurological ward would know what sleep deprivation is. The noise at night by staff and other patients is incredible. Why hasn't anyone worked out that if we cannot sleep our health won't improve?

    • Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. I will rather go to Dignitas then ever be in a neurological ward again, the noise is incredible, far worse than on a general ward. And they offer you crappy sleeping pills, that don't work for me and noting, absolutely nothing, can block out the sounds of someone with end stage Huntington's disease screaming through the night. I'm not having a go at the poor patient who was in total distress, but as you say, if sleep deprivation is bad for MS, then join the dots NHS!

    • And if you already suffer from hyperacusis or sensitivity to noise…. If I had to go into the hospital neurological ward I would ask if I could pay for a private room, I don't I think could cope otherwise. Not that I can afford it but needs must.

    • A private room wouldn't help if there are slamming doors at all hours of the night. I can't understand why it is so much worse in neurological wards. Another thing is new patients admitted during the night are examined and asked their history on the ward in the early hours. This is not an exception it goes on all the time. Surely there is somewhere else it can be done.

  • There was something in yesterdays news about the importance of sleep and if we are sleep deprived (not just MSers) we are vulnerable to infections.

  • When we sleep we release/ disolve stress. Team G I hope you were all able to get a good rest over Xmas and New Year. Thanks for all your hard work : )

    • When you feel anxious, your body produces cortisol which is disruptive to health. REM sleep is crucial for reducing cortisol levels.

  • Sleep is very important. The light emitted by devices on standby can still be enough to keep your brain from “switching off”.

    In fact, the closer you can get to pitch black the more sleep hormones you’ll produce. Also, eliminate distracting sounds as much as possible (city dwellers, is your white noise machine on?), and turn down the thermostat to keep the room nice and cool.

  • Here's the question I'd like to propose. Does chronic sleep deprivation CAUSE MS? We treat it like a symptom or maybe as a separate disorder but I wonder of it's the cause?

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