Wednesday, March 29, 2006

National Sleep Awareness Week

National Sleep Awareness Week

This week (March 27, 2006 - April 2, 2006) is National Sleep Awareness Week. So, I assume that Circadiana will get a lot of hits this week. Perhaps if you all link to it.

So there you have it.  Bora reminds us that this is National Sleep Awareness Week.  Check the link for interesting tidbits of information, including some little-recognized clues to the possible presence of a .  If I can stay awake long enough, I will get into the spirit and post some on some sleep-related topic.


OK, here's one.  Researchers have found a strong correlation between CSF levels of hypocretin, and the occurrence of excessive daytime sleepiness:
Hypocretin Deficiency Associated With Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 29 - Hypocretin deficiency is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy, according to a report by researchers in Zurich. [...]

Dr. Baumann and colleagues investigated the relationship between CSF hypocretin levels and clinical findings in 18 patients with narcolepsy with definite cataplexy.

Twelve patients had undetectable levels of hypocretin in the CSF, three patients had low levels, and three patients had normal levels, the researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

Multiple sleep latencies were significantly shorter in patients with undetectable hypocretin levels than in patients with detectable hypocretin, the authors report. [...]
is a neurotransmitter that is produced by a small clump of neurons in the hypothalamus.   The association between loss of hypocretin-secreting cells and is old news.  The new study refines that finding a little bit, by showing a strong correlation between low hypocretin levels and one of the cardinal symptoms of narcolepsy: excessive daytime sleepiness.  The outcome of the study is no surprise; but of course, in science, you can't skip doing the study just because you think you already know what the results are going to be.