The nasty effects of sleep deprivation can be counteracted by lowering the concentration of an enzyme in the brain. This is shown by research by neurobiologist Robbert Havekes and his colleagues in Nature .
Unfortunately, we all do not sleep well at times. Whether that is because of children who keep you awake or because you are grinding at night:sleep deprivation is annoying. It affects your memory and learning ability †
Havekes and his colleagues did research on mice and kept them awake for five hours. These mice showed increased numbers and activity of the enzyme PDE4 and reduced numbers of the molecule cAMP †
That molecule plays a very important role in the formation of new connections and strengthening of existing connections between brain cells in the hippocampus † We cannot live without new connections and strengthening connections. Increased PDE4 activity was found to block the action of cAMP due to sleep deprivation. By blocking the activity of the enzyme PDE4, the effects of the sleep deprivation as memory loss were stopped.
Research has therefore shown how you can avoid the nasty effects such as memory loss and poor concentration . of this sleep deprivation. Medications that stimulate the action of cAMP may make it possible to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation.