Why sleep deprivation disrupts memory

Neurons in the hippocampus are crucial for learning and memory. Lack of sleep disrupts a key brain signal linked to long-term memory in rats, with even a night of normal sleep not enough to restore it. Sharp-wave ripples, synchronized firing of neurons in the hippocampus, play a vital role in memory formation and communicating with the neocortex for storage. Disturbances in these ripples affect memory tests in mice. Research shows that manipulating sleep can impact memory processing and the quality of sharp-wave ripples. Disrupted sleep may prevent experiences from entering long-term memory, which could have implications for trauma victims like those with PTSD.


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