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Drug 'reverses Sleep Lack Effect'


New Member
Nov 10, 2004
A drug could reverse the effects of sleep deprivation in the brain, a US study of monkeys has suggested.

The drug comes from a class of molecules called ampakines which enhance how some chemical receptors work in the brain.

It helped monkeys overcome their lack of sleep, the study in the Public Library of Science - Biology showed.

Researchers from North Carolina's Wake Forest University hope it could help people like doctors and shift workers.

The study was partly funded by the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of a project to reduce of eliminate the effects of sleep deprivation on soldiers.

The drug, currently known as CX717, is designed to act on a type of chemical receptor that is involved in cell-to-cell communication involving the neurotransmitter glutamate.

The drug prolongs the action of glutamate, allowing more effective communication.

In the study, alert monkeys were given a task where each was shown a picture in one position on the screen.

After a delay of up to 30 seconds, they were asked to pick the original out of a random display of two to six different images. If they picked correctly, they were given juice.

When the monkeys were given varying doses of the drug and re-tested, their performance improved to near perfect for the easier trials and by about 15% overall.

They were then deprived of sleep for between 30 and 36 hours - which the researchers say is equivalent to humans going for 72 hours without sleep.

The animals were tested again, and fared worse on all the tests.

But after being sleep-deprived once more and re-tested after being given the drug, their performance was restored to normal levels.

More..... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4173078.stm