Since almost a century sleep in sleecenters are at best measured with EEG. One gets a result looking like this:
What you prefer, are the delta waves, the lowest ones. If you have sleeping problems, you will have less delta waves, or in case of insomnia, no delta waves at all. For this confirmation you walk around three days with electrodes and pay thousands of dollars.
The advice you get at the end is: 'You waves are normal, but you get little sleep. The only thing we can offer you is yoga of relaxing therapy'. 'Thank you very much' you say. Your GP, General Practitioner, will still refuse to prescribe you more than 1/3 of let us say the FDA (Food Drugs Administration) and you will continue to suffer from insonia for decades. It will establish itself an a lot of pain, difficulty to hold a job at all and certainly difficulty to be a responsive person to your partner or children.
The explosion of neuro science since 2005
Althoug the first neuro imaging scanners were developend by Philips Healthcare in the 1980, it lasted until 2000+ until physicians allowed them to be used in clinical practice. Many physicians are objected to neuroscanning, because they are (due to extensive math and electronics) far more difficult to understand than simple Rüntgen scans.
Through internet, the exchane of articles through scholar.google.com , Thanks to internet (that begin to ge filled with useful science articles towards 2005) research exploded, an enornous cross-fertilisation of ideas emerged and, quite importantly, no overlaps in research work were done anymore.
We would say that researchers since then (mostly not phsysicians, but biologists, physcists, mathematicians and electronic engineers) did OUTSTANDING research. However, the task of research is NOT to direclty solve patient problems, it is focussed on analysis, investigation of cause-effect relationships, description of reality. No researcher will take 'flue' as starting point and then research.
People interested in 'flue'- or 'insomnia'- should read research and combine the relevant articles together to make a treatment plan.
Lack of time of physicians -> neuroscience consultants
Keeping up with neuroscience research costs at least 5 fte, fulltime. So no physician in the world can follow that. That is the reason organisation as we, Insomnia Clients Foundation, step in: to full time do desk research on neuro findeings and design programs of testing, to which you can refer your physician to carry them out. Sometimes you do not even need you phsyician, becayse we can refer you straight to a physical centre where they peform the research/
- neurotransmitter testing: thru blood, urine, in vivo brains, tracer marks PET MRI, electric activity neurons-receptors
- firing rates testing
What to measure?
Now we come to 'what to measure'. To humen skull may not be opened for insomnia measurement, it is see as 'not threatening enought. But there are the following possibilities.
1. Neutotransmitter level measuring.
We have seen that almost everything in the brain is regulated by balances of neutotransmitters. In case of sleep: GABA neurons (that want to inhibit neuronal activity) vs. GLUtamate of NE neurons that want to excite (for example in case of anxiet).
A series of methods exists to measure inbalances in neurons, which is not only applicable to insomnia but to many other diseases as well (epilepsy, depression, ADHD, bipolar etc.)
a) neutransmitter measurement through urine
b) neutranssmitter level through blood sample
c) neurotransmitter level measurement with 'trace makers': these are proteines that attach to a certain neurotransmitter in the brain, so that with a PET scanner of MRI scanner the movements and levels of neurotransmitters can be measured.
A special point of attention is that some neurotransmitters may be metabolized in oters, or have a degradation time. For all these measurements special kits are available, we know the good ones.
2. neural activity measurement.
This can best be done with a MEG, Magneto Encephaklo Claygraphy. This scan - uunlike MEG - does not send any electromagnetic wave on its own, but very precisely measures neural activity. Apart form general activity, firing rates can also excellently be measured with MEG.
3. Measurement of adonesine
For sleep, adonesine is key. Adonesine build up during activity, and when the neurons are full of it, it triggers the emmission of GABA neurotransmitters after which the VLPO very quickly issues GAGA (Lisa Rogers, Mark Holmes, 2012).
What should happen during falling asleep?
Falling asleep is from the wake state straight to the SWS, Slow Wave Sleep. In the following table, we present what 'variables' should do when switching from Wake to 'NREM sleep' (non-REM sleep)
|Variable||Wake||NREM = Slow Wave Sleep|
|GABA (vlpo)||inactive||High firing rate + high level|
|GABA (BFs)||Inactive||High firing rate + high level|
|GABA (BFw)||Active (!)||Inactive|
|OX||High firing rate, high level||Low firing rate, low level|
|H||Tonic, low firing rate, high level||Low firing rate, low level|
|AChbf||High firing rate, high level||Low firing rate, low level|
|AChLDT||Fast corical rythms||Inactive|
|NA||Tonic, low firing rate. high level||Low firing rate, low level|
|S||Tonic, low firing rate, high level||Low firing rate, low level|
|DA||No rate change, elevated levels||No rate change|
|AD (adonesine)||Levels increase with prolonged wake in the Basal Forebrain||Levels full during recovery sleep|
Above are all neutotransmitters, except AD = Adonesine. BUT: adonesina is very important because it is the only stuff that makes your VLPO produce GABA neurotransmitters. Adonesine measurement is possible in a number of ways. Adonesine measurement is very important, because: VLPO producing GABA is 'half of the sleep work' (think of our domain name VLPO GABA). Besides Gaba emission, it is important your GABA levels are high enough, GABA transmittors function, GABA receptors function AND that you are not held awake by ecitatory transmittors as AChLDT.
(c) Insomnia Clients Foundation
Aboven table provides an excellent basis to detect 'deviations' from aboven ideal model.
The deviations will usually concern:
- inbalance in neurotransmitter mix'
- undesired firing rates (too low or too high at inappropriate time)
- deviant (GABA) receptor activity
- possible lesion in tissue inhibiting neurotransmitter transport, or inhibiting electric signalling between neurons
When deviation are discovered, quite a lot of possibilities are possible....we included those that will become avaible in the future:
a) implants, certainy with graphene
b) food supplement
c) other supplements
d) in cause of lesions: neurochirugy
f) electro magnetic waving
g) pharma pills to correct the right imbalances
h) if possible: psychological change.
Inbalances in neural activity and neutal transmitter CAN be caused by psychological events in the life of the insomnias, but it does not have to! Certainly for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder people) the anxiety was in the past, and cannot well be cured by therapy in the present.
Another important fact to know that EVEN with an inbalanced neurotransmitter composition, one can be put asleep. This happens if certain molecules bind to the GABA receptors: these then go open, Cl- flows in in the GABA receptors and neurons come to rest, i.e. to their resting potentials. So possibility g is:
i) bind GABA receptors (even if no GABA is present!)
One more phenomenon has been discovered by Hess: people can be put to sleep through Electric Magnetic Waces only. Company Fisher Wallace is working this out in devices:
j) sleep through EM-wave quitening of neurons
The last method we mention is anesthesia. There as diferences and similarities between anastesia and sleep, but most anesthesia techniques work to fall asleep as well.
A frequent phenomenon are people that have lived through some traumatic years, while the GP refused the correct amount of sleeping pills. If a person has sleepings over 6 months, and sleep becomes erratic, all confidence in sleep is lost, and the ANXIETY FOR INSOMNIA dictates the sleepless periods. This a trauma that is very difficult to 'treat.
The more it has been proven that 'sleeping pills make dependent' is an 'old wives tale, if required to FULL dose allowed by FDA should be given to the client.
Even more possibilities to measure!
Neuroscience is going so fast, we give you an impression of a site with newest developments. It als offers even other and newer methods of mearuement than mentioned above.
How te help?
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org