. Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning. Science. 2014 Jun 6;344(6188):1173-8. PubMed.


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  1. David Holtzman and Andrew Lim raise important points for future studies on this topic. Some further thoughts for those who would like to engage in a follow-up study:

    • Despite the overnight stay in a hospital-like environment (clinical research lab) and the presence of the spinal catheter, the 13 subjects who were allowed to sleep normally achieved sufficient sleep (according to our observatinos, and as seen on EEG). Nonetheless, the EEG revealed differences in the time spent in deep sleep (S3), which may have been influenced by the research setting.
    • In a future study, our advice would be to withhold nightly sampling in the sleep-deprived group. We performed these samples because we wanted to pinpoint the timing of changes in Aβ overnight. Our study clearly showed that there were no relevant Aβ dynamics between midnight and morning. Therefore, future studies could keep the sampling scheme exactly the same in the two groups (normal sleep vs. sleep deprivation). 
    • We would also advise to extend the morning sampling until noon. We stopped sampling at 10 a.m., but also saw the largest decline (in the normal sleep group) at 10 a.m. It would be interesting to know if Aβ declines even further later in the morning (i.e., the maximum decline could be at 11 a.m.).

    View all comments by Jurgen Claassen

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  1. While You Were Sleeping—Synapses Forged, Amyloid Purged