Insomnia not only renders the body extremely fatigued and exhausted, but those sleepless nights of tossing and turning also tend to make us cranky and bitter. Researchers attempted to study the impact of chronic sleep loss on a sample group of mice. The results revealed that staying awake for extended periods of time causes irreversible damage to the brain, which leads to excessive loss of brain cells, particularly the cells responsible for regulating efficient cognition and alertness.
Experts have concluded that insomnia brings about a damaging reduction in an essential protein, known as sirtuin type 3 (SirT3), which provides protection to the neurons. A lack of sufficient sleep prevents the neurons from recovering from staying awake for prolonged periods of time, and this eventually damages their performance.
Cancer, as a disease itself, does not directly cast any effects on the patient’s IQ, however, most common treatments to cure cancer tend to have a negative impact on the intellect. Doctors have thus coined the term of chemo brain.
A recent study reveals that some common treatments to heal early-stage breast cancer including, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, and fluorouracil (CMF) chemotherapy, tends to cause reduced cognitive performance.
Researchers further investigated these findings by giving a sample of women who had undergone chemotherapy a series of cognitive tests that studied their processing speed and memory. The results revealed that they performed extremely worse than the women who weren’t exposed to chemotherapy. The researchers concluded that these results were long-lasting, and these women had to endure them for more than 20 years.
Even though the researchers were unable to find the exact cause to understand the negative impacts of chemotherapy on cognitive performance, it is evident that structural differences occur in the brain matter when the brain is exposed to chemotherapy.