Sleep and Schizophrenia Linked: NCBI
It has been documented before that schizophrenia sufferers often experience sleep problems. To get more specific effect that lack of sleep can result in a schizophrenic brain, scientists from the University of Bristol and the Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience studied the brain activity of rats. For the purpose of study, participating rats were made to have schizophrenia.
HuffingtonPost reports how the researchers found that during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM sleep, which precedes REM sleep) waves of brain activity normally ripple between the hippocampus and frontal cortex regions of the brain.
Another research establishing the positive link between lack of sleep and schizophrenic symptoms has been published in Live Science. The findings are crucial, since they raise hopes that the devastating mental disorder can be improved by helping patient’s battle insomnia.
Sharing the views of Russell Foster a circadian and visual neuroscientist at University of Oxford, Live Science reported,
We’ve been thinking of sleep disruption as one of the genetic, developmental and environmental contributors to the development of these appalling conditions.
Another similar study by Foster’s team has been published in January 2012 in the journal Current Biology. The scientists inspected the sleep-wake behaviors of mice with a SNAP25 gene mutation mimicking schizophrenia.
Quite amazingly those mice show a (sleep) pattern which is just like the patients with schizophrenia. If the same is true of humans with schizophrenia, it’s possible that by easing sleep troubles, you could also decrease schizophrenia symptoms. This could be done with light therapy, melatonin treatment or even cognitive-behavioral therapy, a kind of talk therapy that helps patients change behaviors such as when and how they fall asleep.