By NewsRoom24 on February 16th, 2017 / Views
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To forget some of the things we learn each day,
To learn, we grow connections, or synapses, between neurons in our brains
These enable neurons to exchange signals quickly and efficiently. New memories are stored in these networks
Biologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in US suggested that synapses grow so exuberantly during the day that our brain circuits get “noisy”
When sleeping, brains pare back connections to lift the signal over the noise. The scientists called it the ‘synaptic homeostasis’ hypothesis

Neurons, it was found, can prune their synapses – at least in a dish
In lab experiments, scientists can give neurons a drug that spurns them to grow extra synapses. But the neurons later pare back some of the growth
During deep sleep, electric waves released by brain slow down. Scientists argue that shrinking synapses produce this change]tests on the mice showed synapses in the brains of sleeping ones were 18% smaller than in the ones awake

Towards better sleep…
The researchers said the findings call for research on what sleeping drugs do in the brain
It’s possible they may interfere with pruning required to form memories
In the future, sleep medicines may precisely target the molecules involved in sleep, ensuring that synapses get properly pruned.

…But there are doubts
Some scientists have questioned whether this synapse activity is the main reason why sleep exists
Many organs, not just the brain, seem to function differently during sleep, the gut appears to make many new cells, for example, they said

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