Gene Predicts How Brain Responds To Fatigue, Human Study Shows:
"In the current study, the researchers, led by Pierre Maquet, MD, at the University of Lege in Belgium and Derk-Jan Dijk, PhD, at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, avoided this problem by selecting study participants based on their genes. Previous research showed that the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene predicts how people will respond to sleep deprivation. People carry either long or short variants of the gene. Those with the short PER3 variant are resilient to sleep loss — they perform well on cognitive tasks after sleep deprivation. However, those with the long PER3 variant are vulnerable — they show deficits in cognitive performance after sleep deprivation. Now the new study explains why.
The authors imaged study participants while they did a working memory task that requires attention and cognitive control — also called executive function. The researchers imaged each participant four times: the night before and the morning after a good night's sleep, and the night before and morning after a sleepless night.
They found that the resilient, short gene variant group compensated for sleep loss by 'recruiting' extra brain structures. In addition to brain structures normally activated by the cognitive task, these participants showed increased activity in other frontal, temporal, and subcortical brain structures after a sleepless night."
Friday, June 26, 2009
The point is different strokes for different folks.