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Dopamine and Synaptic Plasticity Link Sleepless Night to Temporary Reversal of Depression

Neurobiologists from Northwestern University have discovered that sleep deprivation reinforces a “tired but wired” mood by increasing dopamine release and synaptic plasticity in the brain. The team’s findings could expand the understanding of mood transition and fast-acting antidepressants, and provide new targets for drugs to treat depression. The researchers induced mild sleep deprivation in mice and found their behavior became more aggressive, hyperactive, and hypersexual compared to those who slept normally.

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