Chew on This: Not Getting Enough ZzzZ’s Could Lead to ‘Cannibalism’

Could a lack of sleep turn your brain… cannibalistic?

FOX’s Alex Hein has the details in this Housecall for Health:

This is Housecall for Health.

Skipping out on sleep may not only affect your mood contribute to those big bags under your eyes, but it could cause part of your brain to start eating other parts. While that sounds frightening, researchers say it may not be such a bad thing.

The study, which focused on mice, found that in sleep-deprived mice, two types of glial cells, astrocytes and microglial cells increased in activity. When the mice missed out on sleep, astrocytes went into overdrive and actually ate portions of synapses.

But one expert said the astrocytes targeted the largest, most used synapses, like old pieces of furniture that probably need more attention and cleaning. But another issue with the lack of sleep, is an increase in microglial activity which has been linked to Alzheimer’s in the past.

The findings were a scientific first, but the researchers are unsure if the same thing happens in the brains of humans, or if catching up on sleep can reverse these effects.

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Housecall for Health, I’m Alex Hein, FOX News.

Follow Alex Hein on Twitter: @Ahlex3889