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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 947879, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain Bioenergetics, Sleep, and Cognitive Performance in Cocaine-Dependent Individuals

1Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Lab, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
2McLean Imaging Center, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
3Sleep Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
4Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
5Charles River Analytics, Inc., 625 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
6Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53719, USA
7Sleep Health Centers, 1505 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton, MA 02135, USA
8Private Practice, 1266 Main St., West Concord, MA 01742, USA
9Department of Psychiatry, The Brain Institute, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA

Received 20 May 2013; Accepted 18 July 2013

Academic Editors: E. Lanuza, A. K. Moschovakis, and A. Valero-Cabre

Copyright © 2013 George H. Trksak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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 [31]P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) brain imaging, polysomnography, Continuous Performance Task, and Digit Symbol Substitution Task. Following recovery sleep, [31]P MRS scans revealed that cocaine-dependent participants exhibited elevated global brain -NTP (direct measure of adenosine triphosphate), -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.