Chronic lack of sleep in adolescence may lead to the development of schizophrenia

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Last reviewed: 31.05.2018

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11 October 2011, 20:03

Chronic lack of sleep in the adolescent period can lead to the development of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, due to the lack of the necessary time for which the brain could get rid of unnecessary connections between neurons, this conclusion was drawn by scientists from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

In the process of maturation, the brain creates and destroys many synapses through which the nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. Normally, these processes occur simultaneously - one synapse disappears, and the other appears. If this equilibrium is disturbed, the brain begins to overflow with unnecessary connections, or, conversely, becomes "empty". Both these states lead to severe pathological states of the nervous system, a violation of the memory of schizophrenia.

Scientists have experimentally proved that sleep and wakefulness have different effects on synaptic connections between neurons. So at the time of sleep, the density of bonds decreased, and during wakefulness - increased.

The results of studies may mean that lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the number and density of synaptic contacts, which will lead to an imbalance of neurophysiological processes in the brain ...

Experiments continue, and scientists do not make final conclusions yet. But, it is possible that compliance with the "sleep-wakefulness" regime is of tremendous importance in the development of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]

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