He J, Hsuchou H, He Y, Kastin AJ, Wang Y, Pan W. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function. J Neurosci. 2014;34:14697-706.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep.
It is well known that MSers can have poor sleep, whilst this is a consequence of MS this study could question whether sleep problems are part of the problem. So in this study it was decided to provide chronic sleep deprivation for a week and they found evidence of leakage of things into the brain, which righted itself after a day. Is this relevant to MSers? Inmates at Guantanamo Bay? or Researchers.
However, what is the difference between sleep deficits and mental torture. The study of sleep problems and brain leakage could be amenable to human study and that way one can work out if these findings in animal experiments have relevance to humans.
As a person who does not sleep a lot, I wonder what 6 days of sleep deprivation does. I can do 24h no problems,but can say that after 4 days of sleep deprivation (1h a night trying to meet a deadline) you go GaGa. I don't think MSers are GaGa and so wonder how relevant this is. As every it needs repeating, that is if you could get ethical approval to do this.