How nerve circuits are involved in sleep disorders
Sleep is a primary and essential biological need for humans and other mammals and higher vertebrates such as fish and birds. Even mild sleep disturbances in humans can have dramatic consequences that include narcolepsy, insomnia, attention deficits, depression, aggressiveness and cardiovascular disorders.
Dr. Antoine Adamantidis, Canada Research Chair in Neural Circuits and Optogenetics, is studying the brain structures involved in the behaviour and psychological state of sleep and wakefulness. Adamantidis has pioneered the use of optogenetics (a combination of genetic and optical methods), which has opened new perspectives and unprecedented experimental strategies to probe the nerve circuits that control wakefulness.
Adamantidis is investigating the wiring, firing dynamics and plasticity of the nerve circuits that regulate brain states in normal and abnormal states.
Adamantidis’ research will lead to better understanding of the mechanisms involved in brain arousal and behaviour. It will also help identify new treatments for illnesses associated with sleep disturbances including depression, schizophrenia and cognitive-related disorders.