Sleeplessness agitates the brain

As fatigue grows, electrical activity mounts

By Laura Sanders, 11:12 AM February 15, 2012

Sleep deprivation makes the brain groggy, but as waking hours mount nerve cells grow increasingly jumpy, a new study shows.

This amped-up state may explain why seizures and hallucinations can accompany an all-nighter. More generally, the results help clarify what goes wrong in a brain deprived of shut-eye.

“It’s an important finding,” says neuroscientist Christopher Colwell of UCLA. “Sleep deprivation is an area of huge interest because most of us do not get enough sleep.”

By subjecting...

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