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New Study Suggests Shift Workers May Suffer Brain Damage - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

New Study Suggests Shift Workers May Suffer Brain Damage

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There's a new study that may have you re-thinking your sleep schedule -- especially for those of you who have overnight, odd, or constantly changing work schedules.  

The study released by the University of Pennsylvania finds that lack of sleep due to shift work -- is causing irreversible brain damage.

Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience details the concerning news for people who work outside of normal work hours, like truck drivers or doctors on the graveyard shift.

It found that the long-term sleep deprivation suffered by people working these hours takes power away from the brain -- even if you are able to catch up on sleep -- and kills brain cells.  

They also found that if losing sleep became a habit rather than happening only occasionally, the brain cells didn't protect themselves naturally like they should. Even just after a few days of the repeated loss of sleep, the cells started dying off at what researchers said is an accelerated pace.

So now, the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are planning to study deceased shift workers to see if they have same nerve damage in their brains. Their potential end goal -- to develop a medicine that could help people cope with odd work hours.

 

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