The U.S. Department of Defense is funding the first human trial of a device to speed up and enhance the natural system of brain cleansing that occurs when we sleep.
The trial will be conducted among 90 people at three trial sites – University of North Carolina, University of Washington School of Medicine, and a collaboration between Oregon Health & Science University and the Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory (BEL). Results are expected in the fall of 2022.
Recent discoveries point to the importance of quality sleep for clearance of brain metabolic waste through the newly-discovered brain glymphatic system. If sleep is disrupted, so are these crucial processes, leading to cognitive impairment – things like faulty motor coordination, attention deficits, slower processing speed, decreased decision-making capabilities, and hampered short-term memory, in addition to increasing risk of neurodegenerative disease later in life. These issues can have life-or-death consequences for service members in the U.S. military, which is why the Department of Defense is funding innovative research initiatives, including this three-year, $4.3-million, project with the ultimate goal of helping service members overcome acute sleep deprivation and chronic sleep restriction.
The scientists leading this effort are from UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Washington School of Medicine, the Brain Electrophysiology Lab Oregon Health & Science University, and Montana State University.
2 responses to “DOD funds study to improve sleep, clearance of the brain”
Interesting research into the importance of sleep health. I was referred for sleep study a few years following my ABI. The results of the 1 night sleep study indicated that I qualified for the CPAP funding for people who have sleep apnea. The threshold for qualifying is a score of 5.0 in any category. Sleeping on my ride which is my usual sleep position did not meet the threshold. Sleeping on my back which I rarely choose I only slightly exceeded the qualifying threshold.
The CPAP protocol has improved my sleep pattern. Unfortunately the attending doctor has no training or working knowledge with TBI. As a result any discussions I have attempted surround my TBI as it relates to sleep quality has failed to lead to any additional insight or helpful adjustment to my CPAP use protocol.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for sharing, Jasper. That situation is way beyond my pay grade