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Sleep and Memory

Sleep and Memory - brain imagingThe importance of sleep is widely appreciated, but the actual function of sleep remains unknown. Sleep is required for normal psychological, hormonal, and executive function. Humans deprived of sleep may suffer psychotic episodes, and disorders of sleep are a prominent component of many psychiatric disorders and some neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and fragile X syndrome. One hypothesized role for sleep is for restoration of brain structural elements and consolidation of changes in synaptic strength.

Our L-[1-11C]leucine positron emission tomography (PET)studies in healthy volunteers address

  1. The restoration hypothesis of sleep
  2. The involvement of protein synthesis in memory consolidation during sleep