Synaptic dump

No wonder I feel out of sorts now and then:

The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep serves a vital function. We here report that sleep has a critical function in ensuring metabolic homeostasis. Using real-time assessments of tetramethylammonium diffusion and two-photon imaging in live mice, we show that natural sleep or anesthesia are associated with a 60% increase in the interstitial space, resulting in a striking increase in convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. In turn, convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep. Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system.

I need hardly point out that I read this between one and two in the morning.

(DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224. Via this Joseph Hertzlinger tweet.)

1 comment

  1. fillyjonk »

    21 October 2013 · 12:14 pm

    “Conservation of sleep” is one of the prettier and more felicitous phrases I’ve seen come out of a scientific article. (I know what they ACTUALLY mean by it – that it’s been kept evolutionarily because it works – but I still like the sound of it)

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