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Can Sleep Deprivation Act as an Antidepressant?

New findings provide insights into the complex relationship between sleep, mood, and neural connectivity.

Ivan Oboleninov
Ivan Oboleninov

A recent MedicalXpress article suggests that abstaining from sleep could actually have antidepressant effects. The study, led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has found that one night of total sleep deprivation can improve mood in some individuals with depressive disorders. Using resting-state fMRI, the researchers discovered that sleep deprivation enhanced connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex in the brain.

The increased connectivity is associated with better mood in both healthy individuals and those with major depressive disorder. The findings suggest that the amygdala-ACC network connectivity may play a role in preserving neural resilience against mood disruption following sleep loss, making it a potential target for future antidepressant interventions.

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