Sleep Sweeps Toxic Metabolites Out of the Brain

Kermit Cole
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Adding to our knowledge about the connection between sleep and mental health, researchers from the University of Rochester and N.Y.U. find that sleep creates the conditions for a greater exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid in the brain, which in turn promotes increased removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate during brain activity while awake.

Abstract →

Xie, L., Kang, H., Xu, Q., Chen, M., et al; Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain. Science. 18 October 2013: 342(6156) 373-377. DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224

Of further interest:
Sleep Allows Brain to Wash out Junk (Science News)
Sleep: The Brain’s Housekeeper? (Science)
Sleep It Out (Science)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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