Sleep Sweeps Toxic Metabolites Out of the Brain


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].