Effects of Childhood Sleep Deprivation on the Development of Emotional Control and Cognitive Function of Prefrontal Cortex

Project: A - Government Institutionb - National Science and Technology Council

Project Details


Chronic sleep restriction or sleep deprivation is a common health problem for many people in our current societies. Insufficiency of sleep would cause alterations in brain functions and psychological behaviors including activities of important enzymes, neurotransmitter levels, impaired neuronal excitability, emotional disturbances as well as cognitive dysfunction. Previous studies have indicated that the prefrontal circuits may play an important role in the regulation of emotional control and cognitive modulation. By the broadly presence of reciprocal interconnections, numerous neurochemicals together with intracellular ionic fluctuations, activation of prefrontal cortex would exert its powerful influence on limbic system, other neocortex, and sub-cortical structures, which then regulates the development of emotional control and cognitive activity. With the coming of the industrialization, sleep deprivation has commonly seen in children and adolescence. Examining the potential detrimental effects of childhood sleep deprivation on the development of adult emotional control and cognitive function is thus an important issue in sleep research. However, as we may ascertain, there is a great lack of knowledge regarding the effects of childhood sleep deprivation (CSD) on the development of adult mental disabilities. Moreover, the potential alterations of molecular or neurochemical expressions within the prefrontal cortex following CSD is still remained to be explored. Based on this viewpoint, the present study was designed to examine (1) the potential effects of CSD on adult mental behavior and cognitive changes (2) by the use of quantitative histochemistry, quantitative immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, clearly determine whether the CSD-induced mental dysfunction was attributed to the underlying changes of prefrontal neurochemistry, and (3) with the assistance of electron microscopy and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), detailed examine the possible ultrastructural variation and ionic distribution consequently to prefrontal activation changes. By extensively conduct the present study, we can not only provide the detailed behavioral, morphological, molecular and biochemical evidences underlying the detrimental effects of CSD on emotional function, but also greatly increase our knowledge on the mechanisms of CSD related emotional and cognitive disturbances. With the gradually processing of this three-year project, our results will also help us to better recognize the importance of sufficient childhood sleep in emotional development, and offer the possibility for therapeutic strategy in prevention or improving the CSD relevant mental dysfunction persisted to adult stage.
Effective start/end date8/1/127/31/13


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