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Does sleep deprivation cause brain damage?

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Posted on Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Question: Can irregular sleeping patterns (i.e going to bed at 5am) cause memory problems?
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Memory is dependent upon optimal and efficient sleep function

Detailed Answer:
I assume that when you say you go to bed at 5am you are also implying that you believe you SHOULD be going to sleep at a more NORMAL time such as 10p, 11p the night before. I am also assuming that these "irregular" sleep patterns are causing you to incur sleep debts that change on an unpredictable basis. Sleep debt is an entity that is extremely unforgiving to a good functional memory in the same way that lack of sleep is disruptive to people who suffer from seizures, headaches, and a plethora of other medical conditions.

The exact reasons why suboptimal sleep patterns and activities can severely interfere with memory function is poorly understood but we believe it stems from lack of concentration and attentiveness which goes to inefficient right parietal lobe activity responsible for initiating and maintaining an organism's focus to its environment.

How the parietal lobe exactly performs functions of focus in not clearly understood either but it turns out that many circuits which include the hippocampus (major center of memory function) have direct or indirect connections as well as feedback loops which are concentrated upon the right parietal lobe which is where most focus and attention is believed to reside.

Acquiring sleep debt is the equivalent of reducing or even eliminating the function of restorative sleep necessary to neuronal connection rejuvenation which is believed to occur during sleep. This is one theory as to why sleep tends to concretize newly formed memories or learned information. In other words, cramming for a test doesn't work as well when sleep is sacrificed as opposed to reading and being exposed to LESS INFORMATION overall but having enough time to solidify and gel what's been learned through restorative sleep and payback of sleep debt.

I hope this addresses your concerns. If so, may I ask for the favor of a HIGH STAR RATING on our interaction and some brief written feedback.

Write to me at: XXXX for additional comments, concerns, or to upload information that you would like me to look at in the event you may have reports, imaging studies of the head, labs performed, or doctors' notes you'd like reviewed.

This query required 39 minutes to read, research, and compile an envoy to the patient

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (2 days later)
Thanks very much for your detailed answer. Its not possible to have alzeihmers or mci at my age?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (31 hours later)
Brief Answer:
No literature I'm aware of identifies less than 30 years

Detailed Answer:
There is no medical literature that I'm aware of which has identified anybody below the age of 30 who has Alzheimer's disease, some variant, or precursor. There are no studies or accurate models that place age limits on MCI. It is simply not a known number in terms of the "youngest" individual. What is known is this.. less than 2.5% of the population below age 65 years is felt to have Alzheimer's or some other form of diagnosable dementia by way of accepted criteria. The precursor condition of MCI dramatically loses measurabiity as population age dips below age 50 because the prevalence of dementia is virtually less than 1% of the demented population. Going below age 40 and 30 looking for MCI simply yields no results since nobody is even looking for the disease of dementia in that age group.

If you believe you do have cognitive dysfunction then, you should be seen by a specialist who will administer the proper battery of neuropsychological tests, laboratory analyses, and imaging studies to rule out organic mimics of dementing or predementing disease before making any type of diagnosis.

I hope this addresses your concerns. If so, may I ask for the favor of a HIGH STAR RATING on our interaction and some brief written feedback.

Write to me at: XXXX for additional comments, concerns, or to upload information that you would like me to look at in the event you may have reports, imaging studies of the head, labs performed, or doctors' notes you'd like reviewed.

This query has required 97 minutes to read, research, and compile an envoy to the patient


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2473 Questions

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Does sleep deprivation cause brain damage?

Brief Answer: Memory is dependent upon optimal and efficient sleep function Detailed Answer: I assume that when you say you go to bed at 5am you are also implying that you believe you SHOULD be going to sleep at a more NORMAL time such as 10p, 11p the night before. I am also assuming that these "irregular" sleep patterns are causing you to incur sleep debts that change on an unpredictable basis. Sleep debt is an entity that is extremely unforgiving to a good functional memory in the same way that lack of sleep is disruptive to people who suffer from seizures, headaches, and a plethora of other medical conditions. The exact reasons why suboptimal sleep patterns and activities can severely interfere with memory function is poorly understood but we believe it stems from lack of concentration and attentiveness which goes to inefficient right parietal lobe activity responsible for initiating and maintaining an organism's focus to its environment. How the parietal lobe exactly performs functions of focus in not clearly understood either but it turns out that many circuits which include the hippocampus (major center of memory function) have direct or indirect connections as well as feedback loops which are concentrated upon the right parietal lobe which is where most focus and attention is believed to reside. Acquiring sleep debt is the equivalent of reducing or even eliminating the function of restorative sleep necessary to neuronal connection rejuvenation which is believed to occur during sleep. This is one theory as to why sleep tends to concretize newly formed memories or learned information. In other words, cramming for a test doesn't work as well when sleep is sacrificed as opposed to reading and being exposed to LESS INFORMATION overall but having enough time to solidify and gel what's been learned through restorative sleep and payback of sleep debt. I hope this addresses your concerns. If so, may I ask for the favor of a HIGH STAR RATING on our interaction and some brief written feedback. Write to me at: XXXX for additional comments, concerns, or to upload information that you would like me to look at in the event you may have reports, imaging studies of the head, labs performed, or doctors' notes you'd like reviewed. This query required 39 minutes to read, research, and compile an envoy to the patient