Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PLN #5 
       The article, "Brain may Flush Out Toxins During Sleep" by the National Institute of Health is about how during sleep, the human brain may flush out toxins.In this article, the author explains how  brain cells change size during sleep, making room for a fluid to flush toxins out from the brain. This fluid, known as Cerebrospinal Fluid, is "A clear liquid Surrounding the brain and spinal cord," which was dyed blue in the brains of mice. The author tells how scientists determined that, "the dye flowed rapidly when the mice were unconscious," but didn't move when the mice were conscious. This told scientists that the Cerebrospinal Fluid moves around in the brain during sleep. This happens because of a hormone called "Noradrenaline" which changes the size of certain brain cells when it is released during sleep. When the cells shrink during sleep, the fluid can flow through the cells. The author then goes on to explain the importance of this discovery, and how sleep has another function other than providing us rest. It aids the brain, with the cerebrospinal fluid getting rid of the toxins. This article clearly explains this new function of sleep, and the removal of toxins.

     The article, "Brain may Flush out Toxins During Sleep" fascinated me because I didn't think that sleep had any other purpose than to rest the brain and body. It was really cool to learn how sleep has this function of cleansing itself with the Cerebrospinal fluid. I didn't think that the brain would be able to do that. It also stunned me how such an important discovery this is. It shows another reason why I really need to get sleep, so that I stay healthy. If I don't sleep, the toxins would build up in my brain, and I don't want to find out what affect that would hold on me.It is so cool that scientists can literally look into our brains.Discoveries like this excite me because it shows that there is so much more to some things than I expected, and that there still are things waiting to be discovered. I can't wait to see what future scientific discoveries will hold!

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