"BRAIN FOG" explained scientifically (not that that helps!)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sleepyinlalaland, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    I was intrigued by the following article from the ScienceDaily website concerning that "wooly-brain" feeling I believe most of us are well-acquainted with. Of course, inadequate sleep is responsible, but it's interesting to read the actual biology going on in the brain. In short, one's brain "re-sets" during sleep, that is ENOUGH deep sleep. During that time, the brain dumps proteins that have built up over the day that were needed for performing neural synapses. The proteins are necessary for learning and memory, but if you are unable to regularly DELETE them, your brain just gets clogged up with JUNK, or, no-longer-useful proteins. Turns out, we're all full of BRUCHPILOT!

    Here's some of the article with a link to website below:


    Sleep: Spring Cleaning For The Brain?

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2009) — If you've ever been sleep-deprived, you know the feeling that your brain is full of wool.

    Now, a study published in the April 3 edition of the journal Science has molecular and structural evidence of that woolly feeling — proteins that build up in the brains of sleep-deprived fruit flies and drop to lower levels in the brains of the well-rested. The proteins are located in the synapses, those specialized parts of neurons that allow brain cells to communicate with other neurons.

    Sleep researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health believe it is more evidence for their theory of "synaptic homeostasis." This is the idea that synapses grow stronger when we're awake as we learn and adapt to an ever-changing the environment, that sleep refreshes the brain by bringing synapses back to a lower level of strength. This is important because larger synapses consume a lot of energy, occupy more space and require more supplies, including the proteins examined in this study.

    Sleep — by allowing synaptic downscaling — saves energy, space and material, and clears away unnecessary "noise" from the previous day, the researchers believe. The fresh brain is then ready to learn again in the morning.

    The researchers — Giorgio Gilestro, Giulio Tononi and Chiara Cirelli, of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness — found that levels of proteins that carry messages in the synapses (or junctions) between neurons drop by 30 to 40 percent during sleep.

    In the Science paper, three-dimensional photos using confocal microscopy show the brains of sleep-deprived flies filled with a synaptic protein called Bruchpilot (BRP), a component of the machinery that allows communication among neurons. In well-rested flies, levels of BRP and four other synaptic proteins drop back to low levels, providing evidence that sleep resets the brain to allow more growth and learning the next day.

    Higher levels of these synaptic proteins during waking may be evidence of random experiences that fill the brain every day and need to be dissipated to make room for the learning and memories that are truly significant.

    "Much of what we learn in a day, we don't really need to remember," Cirelli says. "If you've used up all the space, you can't learn more before you clean out the junk that is filling up your brain."
  2. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    This science CANNOT be used to equate to the human species. The science in this article relates to findings using flies.
  3. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    research using fruit flies does not NECESSARILY apply to human subjects, but they MAY.

    MUCH research on fruit flies has had useful information that relates to human conditions, especially in the field of genetics and in studies of neurological conditions. Personally, I don't think these findings are that controversial (applicable to human and flies) and the theory of a build-up of neural proteins interferring with clear thinking sounds credible to me.

    But, I'm certainly no scientist.

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