A new study published on September 3 in Neurology and reported on Medscape shows that poor sleep quality may actually lead to brain atrophy. Using 147 people ranging from 20 to 84 years in age, researchers submitted participants to MRI scanning over several years. Sleep quality was measured by a self-administered exam. Additional testing parameters included physical activity, BMI and blood pressure. The results were as follows:
- 35% of participants met the criteria for “poor sleep”.
- Poor sleep quality correlated to decreased brain volume in an area located within the right superior frontal cortex
- Correlated to shorter sleep duration, lower efficiency, and increased latency
- Poor sleep was associated with atrophy of the frontal, temporal and parietalcortices.
- Such traits are linked with reduced memory and cognitive functioning
- More significant in older adults, but association present in participants under 60 years of age as well
- Differences in physical activity, BMI and blood pressure could not account for any of the changes
Further research will need to determine whether poor sleep is the cause of brain atrophy or a result of brain atrophy. However, such research could also shed light onto various diseases of cognitive decline.
I’m always on the lookout for helpful videos, technology, books etc. and lately I’ve been spending some extra time on YouTube for physiology videos. A couple of channels that I have found to be extremely beneficial to medical students (or any medical professional) are from MEDCRAMVideos and iMedicalSchool. There are obviously a lot more out there that have plenty of helpful material, but these two have stood out to me over the past few weeks for their wide range of topics and simplified discussions of important medical conditions. I highly suggest any with medical interests check them out and they’ll be added to the Medical Resources page for future reference. Enjoy!
I officially completed neuroanatomy as of yesterday when I took the NBME Shelf Exam. What is NBME? The National Board of Medical Examiners is an organization that provides assessments of healthcare professionals. After each completed course in medical school, we take an NBME Shelf Exam that serves as a cumulative assessment of the material we should have learned. Unfortunately for any campus on block scheduling such as myself, most exams implement material from other courses as well (some of which we haven’t even taken yet!), but you just have to suffer through those questions and focus on what you know. But I digress…
Neuroanatomy was definitely a challenging course since I wasn’t familiar with most of the material. However, it was also one of my favorite courses thus far. The complexities of the nervous system are absolutely fascinating, and what’s even more amazing is how much is still unknown. The brain is a truly amazing machine. The course seemed to be the most clinically applicable of everything I’ve had thus far, which made me much more dedicated towards learning the material. Although there is so much more to learn, I can tell that my ability to actually diagnose various conditions is continually developing. Even prior to taking neuroanatomy I had considered neurology a field of interest, and I could still see it as a possibility in my future. That being said, Emergency Medicine always seems to be calling my name. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to explore that field until my fourth year of school. However, I intend to keep an open mind about all fields until I’ve had a chance to experience them. As for now, it’s on to physiology!
I’m always on the lookout for great YouTube videos, and found this gem this morning. For anyone looking to better understand the auditory system or more specifically, the Organ of Corti, check it out!
Want to learn the brachial plexus? Check out this video! I’ve also made a pdf file of the drawing done in the video that you can print off and save. Just click the link.
I’m starting a “Medical Resources” page that will contain the file above, as well as any future helpful documents I create or encounter during my own studies. Enjoy!
Imagine succumbing to an illness that slowly and methodically strips you of the characteristics that define you until you’re teetering on the edge of insanity and waking up tied down to a hospital bed. This is the true story presented by Susannah Cahalan, a New York Post reporter plagued with a life-threatening illness in the prime of her life.
This narrative is an astonishing & detailed account of the author’s personal fight against anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. This devastating & potentially lethal illness is an autoimmune disease that wasn’t officially discovered until 2007. Patients of the disease exhibit a variety of symptoms, most notably being psychiatric complications and seizures.
The scariest part about this illness is the fact that is can be easily overlooked by physicians, and most likely caused numerous misdiagnoses prior to its discovery. Imagine experiencing seizures and psychotic episodes, being diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar, and in reality you have a curable autoimmune disease.
All neurologists should read this book, but I recommend it to everyone. The story is simply astonishing and extremely insightful. The author presents a sinister situation in an exciting and entertaining manner. Further, she successfully presents scientific information in a way that maintains the readers attention.
Description in a single word: astonishing