Goal 1: Promote Human Health


There are developing data from clinical studies that sleep deficiency and circadian disruption have multiple adverse consequences for health. The clinical data provide the base for mechanistic studies. Studies in animal models indicate that both circadian disruption and insufficient sleep later gene expression in peripheral tissues. Moreover, the effect of sleep loss in molecular changes in brain changes with age. These initial descriptive studies need to be taken to a more mechanistic level so that the pathways underlie these effects can be established.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)?: Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC:

There is no doubt that insufficient sleep and circadian disruption are very common in our society. There are also compelling epidemiological data that they are associated with multiple adverse consequences, including increased cardiovascular disease, increase in metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance and for shift work an increased incidence of specific concern. Animal studies based on microarrays are showing that inadequate sleep and circadian rhythm alter gene expression not only in brain but also in peripheral tissues. These studies are hypothesis-generating and there are many opportunities for hypothesis-driven research in this area to assess mechanisms. Identifying mechanisms will allow investigators to begin to assess mechanisms of individual differences and to identify new pathways for intervention.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC:

Sleep and circadian research is in a very strong position. Sleep and clock function has now been identified in all the major model systems—C. elegans, Aphysia, Drosophila, zebra-fish, mice, etc. Thus, there is a strong platform to assess conserved pathways for effect of sleep loss and circadian disruption. Moreover, microarray studies have identified likely pathways thereby setting up hypothesis-driven research. There are major opportunities in this area.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea: Sleep Research Society


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174 net votes
230 up votes
56 down votes
Idea No. 670