New research from the US shows that resting while awake appears to strengthen memory, revealing new insights into how forms of rest other than sleep, affect the memory consolidation process. The findings suggest that even though it may not look like it, when we rest while awake, our brains are still working, something we may find hard to accept in an information technological world that is on the go 24/7. You can read about the findings of the study, by Dr Lila Davachi, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science at New York University, and colleagues, in the 28 January issue of the journal Neuron. Davachi, in whose lab the research was conducted, told the press that: "Taking a coffee break after class can actually help you retain that information you just learned." "Your brain wants you to tune out other tasks so you can tune in to what you just learned, " she explained. Lead author Arielle Tambini, a doctoral candidate in NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Science, said the study focused on memory consolidation, which occurs during the stabilizing period just after a memory is initially formed or encoded.
A study in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP found gray matter concentration deficits in multiple brain areas of people with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study suggests that the memory impairment, cardiovascular disturbances, executive dysfunctions, and dysregulation of autonomic and respiratory control frequently observed in OSA patients may be related to morphological changes in brain structure. Results indicate that in newly diagnosed men with severe OSA, gray matter concentrations were significantly decreased in multiple brain areas, including limbic structures, prefrontal cortices and the cerebellum. Optimized voxel-based morphometry, an automated processing technique for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was used to characterize structural differences in gray matter by examining the entire brain, rather than a particular region. "Gray matter" refers to the cerebral cortex, where most information processing in the brain takes place. It is a layer of tissue that coats the surface of the cerebrum and the cerebellum and is gray in appearance, lacking the myelin insulation that makes most other parts of the brain appear to be white.
Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Hasbro Children's Hospital researchers have received more than $2.5 million in direct costs from The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the impact of asthma on the sleep quality and academic performance of young children. The five-year grant will allow pediatric researchers, led by Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, PhD, to evaluate the connection between asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms (such as sneezing, congestion or a runny nose), sleep quality, and school functioning in urban, elementary school children between the ages of 7 and 9. Working in collaboration with school districts in the greater Providence area, the investigators will also look at how family and cultural risks, such as family management of asthma and allergic rhinitis and asthma-related fear, may contribute to these associations. "We know that asthma can affect how children perform in school. However, studies have not specifically shown how asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms influence school functioning, " said Koinis-Mitchell, a child psychologist with the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center.
Chronic and severely stressful situations, like those connected to depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, have been associated with smaller volumes in " stress sensitive" brain regions, such as the cingulate region of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory formation. A new study, published by Elsevier in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that chronic insomnia may be another condition associated with reduced cortical volume. Using a specialized technique called voxel-based morphometry, Ellemarije Altena and Ysbrand van der Werf from the research group of Eus van Someren evaluated the brain volumes of persons with chronic insomnia who were otherwise psychiatrically healthy, and compared them to healthy persons without sleep problems. They found that insomnia patients had a smaller volume of gray matter in the left orbitofrontal cortex, which was strongly correlated with their subjective severity of insomnia. "We show, for the first time, that insomnia patients have lower grey matter density in brain regions involved in the evaluation of the pleasantness of stimuli, as well as in regions related to the brain's 'resting state'.
The brains of people under anesthesia respond to stimuli as they do in the deepest part of sleep - lending credence to a developing theory of consciousness and suggesting a new method to assess loss of consciousness in conditions such as coma. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, led by brain researcher Fabio Ferrarelli, reported their findings in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The group gave the anesthetic midazolam, commonly used at lower doses in "conscious sedation" procedures such as colonoscopies, to volunteers. Then they used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive technique to stimulate the brain cortical neurons from the scalp, in combination with electroencephalography (EEG), which recorded the TMS-evoked brain responses. What they found is a pattern that looks much as it does when the brain is in deep, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep, another condition when consciousness fades.
Wyeth Consumer Healthcare Withdraws Its Marketing Authorisation Application For Ibuprofen Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth
The European Medicines Agency has been formally notified by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare of its decision to withdraw its application for a centralised marketing authorisation for the medicine Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth 200 mg/25 mg soft capsules. This medicine was intended to be used for the short-term treatment of mild to moderate pain in adults who experience sleeplessness as a result of the pain. The application for the marketing authorisation for Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth was submitted to the Agency on 4 December 2008. At the time of the withdrawal, it was under review by the Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). In its official letter, the company stated that its decision to withdraw the application was based on CHMP's view that the data provided do not allow the Committee to conclude on a positive benefit-risk balance. More information about Ibuprofen/Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Wyeth and the state of the scientific assessment at the time of withdrawal will be made available in a question-and-answer document.
SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, has announced that Thomas S. Kilduff, Ph.D., director of SRI International's Center for Neuroscience, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The award, announced in the December 18, 2009 issue of the journal Science, recognizes researchers' efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Dr. Kilduff was honored for his contributions in neuroscience, particularly his role in the discovery of the neuropeptide hypocretin, and for his service to the Sleep Research Society. AAAS Fellows will be honored on Saturday, February 20, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Fellows Forum during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego. "The goal of our research has been to understand the basic mechanisms that underlie sleep and wakefulness, to determine what exactly happens in sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia, and jet lag, and to develop better therapeutics for these conditions, " said Dr.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) adversely affects glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago. The study "demonstrates for the first time that there is a clear, graded, inverse relationship between OSA severity and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, " wrote lead author, Renee S. Aronsohn, M.D., instructor of medicine at the University of Chicago. The study also confirmed other reports that undiagnosed OSA is very common among patients with type 2 diabetes, indicating that it is largely unrecognized additional medical risk factor in these patients. The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Soceity's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Aronsohn and colleagues consecutively recruited patients with type 2 diabetes from outpatient clinics to participate in the study. The participants were interviewed to assess their diabetes history, medical history and medications, and level of physical activity.
Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOMX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the in-licensing, development and commercialization of proprietary branded pharmaceutical products and late-stage product candidates for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the central nervous system therapeutic area, today provided an update on the status of its New Drug Application (NDA) for Silenor® (doxepin) for the treatment of insomnia. Somaxon held a meeting with senior leadership at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 20, 2010 to discuss the issues raised by the FDA in the Complete Response Letter Somaxon received in December 2009 relating to the Silenor NDA. The only remaining efficacy issue was related to the robustness of sustained subjective sleep maintenance efficacy in non-elderly adults with primary insomnia. In the meeting, the FDA and the company discussed this issue, and the agency instructed Somaxon to resubmit the contents of its January 20, 2010 pre-meeting briefing package to the FDA.
Dr. Oz Show Focuses On Patients With Sleep Disorders Spotlight On 20 Million Americans With Sleep Apnea
Watermark Medical CEO Sean Heyniger, said the recent Dr. Oz Show segment on sleep apnea and obesity will help the estimated 20 million undiagnosed Americans realize their symptoms and seek help. Watermark's ARESTM is an innovative, low-cost, patient-friendly wireless device, offered through primary care physicians that is worn while the patient sleeps at home. The device collects physiological data and integrates it with clinical history to determine the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). John Sculley, Co-Chairman of the Board for Watermark Medical, said, "The Watermark platform helps transform the manner in which healthcare is delivered by lowering costs and focusing on outcomes and therapy compliance." The test results are reviewed by a certified sleep technologist and then interpreted by the patient's physician or sleep specialist. Appropriate therapy is then recommended by the patient's physician. Watermark Medical Chief Medical Officer and inventor of the ARESTM, Dr.