Research

Sleep helps the brain forget unnecessary memories

Sleep is incredibly important to health asphysical and mental. Experts involved in the study of sleep agree that sleep should not be neglected, as lack of sleep negatively affects health and contributes to the development of many diseases. However, studying the work of the brain during sleep can help scientists learn more not only about the brain, but also about Alzheimer's disease. According to a study published in the journal Science, during sleep, the brain gets rid of unnecessary memories, deciding which information to leave and which to get rid of.

Brain work during sleep can help scientists understand how we forget information.

How and why do we forget information?

We rarely think about how complexprocesses occur in the human brain. For example, how memory works. In fact, this is an active process, however, exactly how we forget information during the different phases of sleep, scientists know very little.

By the way, do you remember your dreams well or not? You can discuss the reasons why everything happens this way with the participants of our Telegram chat.

A team of scientists from an international centerNeurobiology has found that during the REM sleep phase - when the eyes are actively moving, special nerve cells appear that contribute to oblivion. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCG) producing neurons are located in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that helps to perform important functions such as sleep, appetite and controlling emotions. The results of previous studies have shown that these neurons help control the fast phase of sleep: they activate the ICG neurons, which increases the time of this phase of sleep.

The human brain is still the greatest mystery today

A team of specialists investigated ICG neurons inmice. In the course of the study, scientists found that 52.8% of MCH were active during the REM phase, compared to only 35% of MCH during wakefulness. When the researchers tested the ability of mice to remember information, they artificially activated the work of ICG neurons “turning them on” and “turning them off”. This helped establish that in order for the memories to stop forming, ICG neurons send messages to the hippocampus.

According to lead study author ThomasKilduffa, the team was surprised to find that mice do a better job of learning and memorizing when ICG neurons are inactive. This means that the activity of ICG neurons helps us forget information faster.

Why are sleep disturbances dangerous?

Recent Research Resultsstudies of Alzheimer's disease suggest that sleep disturbances cause the amyloid beta protein associated with the neurodegenerative state to accumulate faster in the brain and vice versa. Thus, a good sleep can slow down this process. Moreover, healthy sleep helps to prolong youth and improve cognitive abilities and human skills.

Sleep disturbances pose a risk of developing serious illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression.

On our channel in Yandex.Zen you can learn more about why lack of sleep is dangerous to health.

However to the burning question of notIs the activity of ICG neurons the reason that we forget dreams, we just have to open our eyes, scientists can not answer with absolute certainty. Most likely, the reason lies in the fact that the role of subjects in the study was performed by rodents and not people. Nevertheless, experts do not exclude that we tend to forget what we saw in a dream precisely because of the activity of ICG neurons. Also, scientists do not hope that their study will help to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and how to treat it.