Washington: Irregular sleep patterns and desynchronised brain activity during sleep could trigger some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.The findings suggest that these prolonged disturbances might be a cause and not just a consequence of the disorder’s debilitating effects.The possible link between poor sleep and schizophrenia prompted the research team, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, the Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), to explore the impact of irregular sleep patterns on the brain by recording electrical brain activity in multiple brain regions during sleep.For many people, sleep deprivation can affect mood, concentration and stress levels. In extreme cases, prolonged sleep deprivation can induce hallucinations, memory loss and confusion all of which are also symptoms associated with schizophrenia.“Sleep disturbances are well-documented in the disease, though often regarded as side effects and poorly understood in terms of their potential to actually trigger its symptoms,” said Dr Ullrich Bartsch, one of the study’s researchers.
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