Sleep is critical for overall health and homeostatic processes in all mammals, however the reasons why sleep is important are incompletely understood. In the past decade, researchers have discovered that sleep promotes the clearance of CSF-derived molecules, acting to cleanse the brain of potentially toxic metabolites. More importantly, studies have shown that this cleansing process is impaired in both age and the setting of Alzheimer’s dementia. Deidre has recently returned from Seattle, Washington where she trained under world-experts in CSF dynamics and clinical dementia to investigate role of both sleep and circadian rhythms in driving disease processes. Deidre will speak about her work in Seattle and how she is applying her findings to understand the relationship between sleep disruption and cognitive decline in the setting of acute critical illness here in NZ.
About Dr Deidre Jansson
Dr Jansson is a postdoctoral research fellow who completed her PhD at the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. With the support of a Phillip Wrightson postdoctoral fellowship, she travelled to the USA to study CSF dynamics with international leaders in the field. She has returned to NZ with a Neurological Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Professors Anthony Phillips and John Windsor at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland to examine the role of CSF dynamics in cognitive impairment observed in patients that survive critical illness.