Sleep Deprivation can Shrink the Size of Brain: Study

In a recent research it was shown that sleeplessness can shrink the volume of brain and can affect various regions like frontal temporal and parietal areas of the brain.

Vasudha Bhat
LatestWritten by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Sep 05, 2014
Sleep Deprivation can Shrink the Size of Brain: Study

Sleeplessness EffectsThere have been studies in the past which showed that sleeplessness has an ill-effect on an individual’s working and this recent research adds more creditability to this belief by proving that sleeplessness can also shrink the brain’s volume especially, in people aged over 60 years.

The study has shown a relation between sleeplessness and deterioration of various regions of the brain like frontal temporal and parietal areas.

The author of this study Claire Sexton of University of Oxford in Britain says “it is not yet known whether poor sleep quality is a cause or consequence of changes in brain structure”.

In the research 147 adults aged between 20 and 84 years participated whose brain volume to sleeping problems were studied.

Claire Sexton says that there is a wide variety of treatments available for sleeplessness and the future studies will focus on the link between quality of sleep and volume of brain.

Each participant was made to go through two MRI scans three and a half years apart and was given a questionnaire to answer regarding their sleeping habits.

The findings showed that one third of the participants met the definition of poor sleep quality. Before reaching to the conclusion various factors like length of sleep, time taken to fall asleep at night, medications consumed and other sleep factors were also considered.

The research was published in Neurology, a journal of American Academy of Neurology.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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