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ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Oct 22;2013:947879. doi: 10.1155/2013/947879. eCollection 2013.

Effects of sleep deprivation on brain bioenergetics, sleep, and cognitive performance in cocaine-dependent individuals.

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Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Lab, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA ; McLean Imaging Center, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA ; Sleep Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA ; Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


In cocaine-dependent individuals, sleep is disturbed during cocaine use and abstinence, highlighting the importance of examining the behavioral and homeostatic response to acute sleep loss in these individuals. The current study was designed to identify a differential effect of sleep deprivation on brain bioenergetics, cognitive performance, and sleep between cocaine-dependent and healthy control participants. 14 healthy control and 8 cocaine-dependent participants experienced consecutive nights of baseline, total sleep deprivation, and recovery sleep in the research laboratory. Participants underwent ³¹P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) brain imaging, polysomnography, Continuous Performance Task, and Digit Symbol Substitution Task. Following recovery sleep, ³¹P MRS scans revealed that cocaine-dependent participants exhibited elevated global brain β-NTP (direct measure of adenosine triphosphate), α-NTP, and total NTP levels compared to those of healthy controls. Cocaine-dependent participants performed worse on the Continuous Performance Task and Digit Symbol Substitution Task at baseline compared to healthy control participants, but sleep deprivation did not worsen cognitive performance in either group. Enhancements of brain ATP levels in cocaine dependent participants following recovery sleep may reflect a greater impact of sleep deprivation on sleep homeostasis, which may highlight the importance of monitoring sleep during abstinence and the potential influence of sleep loss in drug relapse.

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