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  • 12/20/2010

Sleep loss may prevent PTSD

sleep loss may prevent ptsd

A sleepless night can help block the consolidation of traumatic memories in some individuals with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders.

The effect of sleep on different parts of the body had long been elusive, but we now know that it is closely associated with memory, as a number of studies conducted in the past few years have shown that sleep can enhance memory function.

This is thought to occur because the pattern of neural activity that encodes memory traces is "replayed" and therefore strengthened during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.

Sleep loss, on the other hand, is known to impair memory and other cognitive functions. It is also capable of promoting the formation of false memories.

According to the study published in Biological Psychiatry, insomnia and sleep deprivation may help prevent PTSD after exposure to a traumatic event, whether intentional or not.

Scientists concluded that insomnia might provide prophylactic benefits in reducing the development of PTSD via extinction of the fear-magnifying effects of memory.

"New insights into the neurobiology of sleep-dependent learning may make it possible for these people to take a medication that disrupts this process while leaving restorative elements of sleep intact," said journal editor John Krystal, professor and chair of psychiatry at Yale University.

Source: presstv.ir

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