The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2007 / Article
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Frontiers in Addiction Research

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Mini-Review Article | Open Access

Volume 7 |Article ID 598383 |

George H. Trksak, J. Eric Jensen, Perry F. Renshaw, Scott E. Lukas, "Brain Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging of Sleep Homeostasis and Restoration in Drug Dependence", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 7, Article ID 598383, 6 pages, 2007.

Brain Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging of Sleep Homeostasis and Restoration in Drug Dependence

Academic Editor: S. Ferre
Received22 Jun 2007
Revised02 Aug 2007
Accepted06 Aug 2007


Numerous reports have documented a high occurrence of sleep difficulties in drug-dependent populations, prompting researchers to characterize sleep profiles and physiology in drug abusing populations. This mini-review examines studies indicating that drug-dependent populations exhibit alterations in sleep homeostatic and restoration processes in response to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a principal sleep research tool that results in marked physiological challenge, which provides a means to examine sleep homeostatic processes in response to extended wakefulness. A report from our laboratory demonstrated that following recovery sleep from sleep deprivation, brain high-energy phosphates particularly beta–nucleoside triphosphate (beta-NTP) are markedly increased as measured with phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). A more recent study examined the effects of sleep deprivation in opiate-dependent methadone-maintained (MM) subjects. The study demonstrated increases in brain beta-NTP following recovery sleep. Interestingly, these increases were of a markedly greater magnitude in MM subjects compared to control subjects. A similar study examined sleep deprivation in cocaine-dependent subjects demonstrating that cocaine-dependent subjects exhibit greater increases in brain beta-NTP following recovery sleep when compared to control subjects. The studies suggest that sleep deprivation in both MM subjects and cocaine-dependent subjects is characterized by greater changes in brain ATP levels than control subjects. Greater enhancements in brain ATP following recovery sleep may reflect a greater disruption to or impact of sleep deprivation in drug dependent subjects, whereby sleep restoration processes may be unable to properly regulate brain ATP and maintain brain high-energy equilibrium. These studies support the notion of a greater susceptibility to sleep loss in drug dependent populations. Additional sleep studies in drug abusing populations are needed, particularly those that examine potential differential effects of sleep deprivation.

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