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Sleepless nights can shrink your brain

world Updated: Feb 23, 2010 01:00 IST

In a finding that could lead to new treatment for insomnia, a new study claims sleeplessness may shrink a person’s brain.

The University of Cambridge study showed that those with chronic sleep problems had lower grey matter density in brain areas used to make decisions.

Dr Ellemarije Altena, who led the research, said: “The findings predict that chronic insomnia sufferers may have compromised capacities to assess stimuli.

“This could have consequences for other thought processes, notably decision-making,” she said, adding their finding could pave way for new treatment for those who struggle with sleeplessness as the brain areas are also used to regulate rest.