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This blog highlights current neuroscience news published in peer-reviewed journals, with a particular emphasis on sleep/circadian rhythms. Every Thursday, I feature the front-page photomicrograph and the respective article from the current week's Journal of Neuroscience in a segment titled Neury Thursday. I also incorporate a substantial amount of media, including the highlighted article and related video. I try to write for the lay person, but if I do inevitably use jargon, I will briefly explain and provide a wikipedia reference. I'd like to think I have a sense of humor reflected through my writing style and/or post topics

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  • October 8, 2015
  • 12:30 PM

Neury Thursday: Modeling disrupted sleep in Angelman Syndrome

by Allison in Dormivigilia

This study came out of our group here at Morehouse School of Medicine. It concerns a mouse model of disrupted sleep in Angelman Syndrome. Basically, was it the circadian or homeostatic system that is responsible, or both? It was the homeostatic. ... Read more »

Ehlen, J., Jones, K., Pinckney, L., Gray, C., Burette, S., Weinberg, R., Evans, J., Brager, A., Zylka, M., Paul, K.... (2015) Maternal Ube3a Loss Disrupts Sleep Homeostasis But Leaves Circadian Rhythmicity Largely Intact. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(40), 13587-13598. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2194-15.2015  

  • March 22, 2015
  • 03:37 PM

In Search for the Function of Sleep Continues

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Today, I was a guest host on an awesome neuroscience podcast entitled On Your Mind. We discussed these two papers that aim to yet probe for another significant function of sleep... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 03:55 PM

Humans in the Wild.

by Allison in Dormivigilia

My graduate lab did a really neat study brainstormed over libations on Bourbon Street in NOLA, actually. Basically, they took the power grid data from the Pacific Northwest and imported it into a circadian-specific computer program to see seasonal and monthly rhythms of human activity based on the power grid. ... Read more »

  • January 11, 2015
  • 01:00 PM

A decade's worth of data on alcohol and circadian rhythms

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Across the past decade, the lab where I completed my PhD work and our collaborator have undertaken numerous experiments reflected in over 10 original research publications on how alcohol affects circadian timekeeping. The journey continues. ... Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 10:30 AM

Neury Thursday: Sleep and the Blood Brain Barrier, with some hesitation

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers found that the permeability of the blood brain barrier is compromised with chronic sleep deprivation. However, the methods section brings these findings into question. Scientists, do your job and make those methods detailed. ... Read more »

He, J., Hsuchou, H., He, Y., Kastin, A., Wang, Y., & Pan, W. (2014) Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood-Brain Barrier Function. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(44), 14697-14706. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2111-14.2014  

  • October 14, 2014
  • 11:30 AM

Vampire Diaries: Tales of Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers at UPENN have done gene profiles of blood taken from subjects sensitive or resistant to sleep deprivation. Is the blood gaining some street cred in neuroscience?... Read more »

Arnardottir, E., Nikonova, E., Shockley, K., Podtelezhnikov, A., Anafi, R., Tanis, K., Maislin, G., Stone, D., Renger, J., Winrow, C.... (2014) Blood-Gene Expression Reveals Reduced Circadian Rhythmicity in Individuals Resistant to Sleep Deprivation. SLEEP. DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4064  

  • August 15, 2014
  • 06:49 PM

A non-invasive system to replace EEG/EMG recording of sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers highlight a new system that is ideal for high-throughput (large numbers of animals) studies for recording sleep. A game changer for sure. ... Read more »

  • August 6, 2014
  • 12:03 AM

Galen may have been (partly) right.

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Research in California has re-opened the ancient medical texts by identifying factors in the blood of young adult mice that may slow the rate of neurodegeneration in aged mice. Even Steven Colbert digs it. ... Read more »

Villeda, S., Plambeck, K., Middeldorp, J., Castellano, J., Mosher, K., Luo, J., Smith, L., Bieri, G., Lin, K., Berdnik, D.... (2014) Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice. Nature Medicine, 20(6), 659-663. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3569  

  • July 20, 2014
  • 11:47 AM

Neury Thursday: mitochondria, neuron health, and sufficient sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers have uncovered further evidence as to why partial sleep deprivation degrades neuron health at a microscopic level... Read more »

  • July 7, 2014
  • 11:27 PM

The Refs are Biased, Neurologically

by Allison in Dormivigilia

During the last World Cup, a study was published that outlined why the human eye and human perception is fatly at certain angles. ... Read more »

Kranjec A, Lehet M, Bromberger B, Chatterjee A. (2010) A Sinister Bias for Calling Fouls in Soccer. PLoS One, 5(7). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011667

  • April 29, 2014
  • 04:52 PM

Characterizing Sleep and Wake in the Cat

by Allison in Dormivigilia

The cat is not a new model of sleep. In fact, it is one of the oldest. This study better characterized the electrophysiological output that corresponds with sleep and wake using local field potential recordings and how the sleep states temporally corresponded with neuronal activity in the somatosensory cortex. This is a model of memory consolidation. ... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:27 PM

Daylight Savings is a Public Health Concern. Who is responsible? The circadian system or sleep homeostat?

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A study published in 2013 did a US examination of the risk for heart attack from falling back or springing forward (Daylight Savings). The results mirror those of a landmark study on the subject. But neither study seems to think that disruption of circadian rhythms is responsible, but rather that one hour of precious sleep lost or gained...... Read more »

Jiddou MR, Pica M, Boura J, Qu L, & Franklin BA. (2013) Incidence of myocardial infarction with shifts to and from daylight savings time. The American journal of cardiology, 111(5), 631-5. PMID: 23228926  

  • March 3, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Life (for a mouse) sucks without Bmal1

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Scientists have uncovered a host of pathological consequences in liver- and mitochondrial-pathways in the absence of Bmal1. These studies lend further credence to Bmal1 being important for rhythms of metabolism. These critters are certainly no star athletes. ... Read more »

Peek CB, Affinati AH, Ramsey KM, Kuo HY, Yu W, Sena LA, Ilkayeva O, Marcheva B, Kobayashi Y, Omura C.... (2013) Circadian clock NAD cycle drives mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6158), 1243417. PMID: 24051248  

  • February 13, 2014
  • 11:00 AM

Neury Thursday: Genotypic Insights on Dopamine, Modafinil, and Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience uncovers genetic sensitivity to drugs that increase dopamine concentrations and their subsequent effects on sleep in humans. These studies raise important concerns for primary care practitioners when prescribing meds. ... Read more »

Holst SC, Bersagliere A, Bachmann V, Berger W, Achermann P, & Landolt HP. (2014) Dopaminergic role in regulating neurophysiological markers of sleep homeostasis in humans. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(2), 566-73. PMID: 24403155  

  • January 20, 2014
  • 11:07 AM

Gender Influences Sleep Amount and Subsequent Physiology

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Very good friends of mine examined the relationship between actual bed time and underlying physiology in a huge cohort of male versus female college students. Perhaps we should be more sensitive to others' complaints of sleep. ... Read more »

Van Reen E, Sharkey KM, Roane BM, Barker D, Seifer R, Raffray T, Bond TL, & Carskadon MA. (2013) Sex of College Students Moderates Associations among Bedtime, Time in Bed, and Circadian Phase Angle. Journal of biological rhythms, 28(6), 425-31. PMID: 24336420  

  • December 24, 2013
  • 04:25 PM

How not to Write an Original Science Paper

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation is a good representative example of bad data organization and presentation. I usually refrain from criticizing studies because I'd like reviewers to give me the same benefit of the doubt, but this is beyond acceptable for such a high-impact journal. ... Read more »

Musiek ES, Lim MM, Yang G, Bauer AQ, Qi L, Lee Y, Roh JH, Ortiz-Gonzalez X, Dearborn JT, Culver JP.... (2013) Circadian clock proteins regulate neuronal redox homeostasis and neurodegeneration. The Journal of clinical investigation, 123(12), 5389-400. PMID: 24270424  

  • December 6, 2013
  • 01:00 PM

Rethinking the Nucleus Accumbens: Regulating Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

The accumbens is historically classified as a reward center. But recent research in animal models shows that it also regulates sleep-This is no surprise, right? Don't you have to hypothetically be awake in order to partake in something pleasurable?... Read more »

  • November 3, 2013
  • 11:22 AM

Novel Means to Quantify Physiological Sleepiness

by Allison in Dormivigilia

My postdoctoral laboratory has published a methods paper in the recent issue of Sleep that provides a means to determine physiological sleepiness as it occurs, not de facto. They are mice after all, but if these findings were extrapolated to humans, then the scary reality of just a few hours of sleep loss is apparent-a moving body in a brain that is essentially asleep. ... Read more »

  • October 5, 2013
  • 04:30 PM

Revisiting Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages: Effects on Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

After getting college students hammered via caffeine-infused alcohol (most like Red Bull-vodkas), the researchers surprisingly found that these drinks have little effect on sleep. Their effects on risks for addiction and brain health is a different story...... Read more »

  • October 5, 2013
  • 03:30 PM

Neury Thursday: Sleep in Worms Cont'd

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Worms have a sleep-like state known as lethargus in between their molting cycles. Researchers in Germany carefully studied lethargus at behavioral, physiologically, and cellular levels providing convincing evidence that worms and their nervous system works in similar manners to control daily sleep. ... Read more »

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