Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatry. Feb 19, 2024; 14(2): 315-329
Published online Feb 19, 2024. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v14.i2.315
Alterations of sleep deprivation on brain function: A coordinate-based resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging meta-analysis
Qin Zhang, Yong-Zhe Hou, Hui Ding, Yan-Ping Shu, Jing Li, Xi-Zhao Chen, Jia-Lin Li, Qin Lou, Dai-Xing Wang
Qin Zhang, Hui Ding, Jing Li, Xi-Zhao Chen, Qin Lou, Dai-Xing Wang, Department of Radiology, The Second People’s Hospital of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550000, Guizhou Province, China
Qin Zhang, Department of Radiology, Guizhou Provincial People’s Hospital, Guiyang 550000, Guizhou Province, China
Yong-Zhe Hou, Yan-Ping Shu, Department of Psychiatry of Women and Children, The Second People’s Hospital of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550000, Guizhou Province, China
Jia-Lin Li, Medical Humanities College, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550000, Guizhou Province, China
Co-first authors: Qin Zhang and Yong-Zhe Hou.
Co-corresponding authors: Hui Ding and Yan-Ping Shu.
Author contributions: Zhang Q, Hou YZ, Chen XZ, Li J, Wang DX, and Lou Q designed the experiment and wrote the manuscript; Zhang Q, Hou YZ, and Li JL analyzed the data; Ding H and Shu YP contributed to the critical revision and editing of the article; Zhang Q and Hou YZ contributed equally to this manuscript and are therefore listed as co-first authors; Ding H and Shu YP contributed equally to this manuscript and are therefore listed as co-corresponding authors; this designation as co-corresponding authors underscores our shared responsibilities in handling correspondence, communicating with peers, and providing essential guidance throughout the research process. Our equal commitment and involvement affirm our joint leadership and contribution to this significant scientific endeavor.
Supported by the Guizhou Province Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ethnic Medicine Science and Technology Research Special Project, No. QZYY-2020-069; Health Commission of Guizhou Province, No. gzwjkj2019-1-203; 2024 Guizhou Provincial Health Commission Science and Technology Fund Project; Guizhou Province Science and Technology Plan Project, No. ZK-2023-195; 2021 Health Commission of Guizhou Province Project, No. gzwkj2021-150; and 2020 National Clinical Key Specialized Projects, No. 2020-128.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the PRISMA 2009 Checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Hui Ding, Doctor, Professor, Department of Radiology, The Second People’s Hospital of Guizhou Province, No. 206 South Section of Xintian Avenue, Yunyan District, Guiyang 550000, Guizhou Province, China.
Received: November 29, 2023
Peer-review started: November 30, 2023
First decision: December 11, 2023
Revised: December 21, 2023
Accepted: January 3, 2024
Article in press: January 3, 2024
Published online: February 19, 2024
Research background

Sleep deprivation, a widespread public health concern, is characterized by inadequate or severely reduced sleep. With societal acceleration and increased individual pressures, the prevalence of sleep deprivation has risen, impacting cognitive function and overall well-being. Despite extensive research on its health implications, a comprehensive understanding of how sleep deprivation affects brain function remains incomplete.

Research motivation

Quality sleep is essential for well-being, yet a significant proportion of the global population consistently falls short of recommended sleep durations. Sleep deprivation is associated with various health risks, including obesity, metabolic disorders, and cognitive decline. Understanding the consistent neurobiological alterations resulting from sleep loss is crucial for devising effective preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Research objectives

To address the inconsistencies in existing neuroimaging studies on sleep deprivation by identifying and elucidating the brain functional changes associated with acute sleep loss. Through the integration of signed differential mapping (SDM) and activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analytic methods, the study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the neuropathological impact of sleep deprivation.

Research methods

A systematic search following PRISMA guidelines was conducted across multiple databases to identify 21 eligible studies focusing on acute sleep deprivation in healthy subjects. The studies, written in English, reported whole-brain functional data and met specific inclusion criteria. SDM and ALE meta-analyses were employed on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to analyze brain functional changes consistently associated with sleep deprivation.

Research results

The meta-analysis, encompassing 21 studies with 23 experiments and 498 subjects, identified consistent brain functional alterations post-sleep deprivation. Notable changes included increased gray matter in the right corpus callosum and decreased activity in the left medial frontal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule. SDM revealed additional alterations in brain functional activity, providing a comprehensive view of the impact of sleep deprivation on neural processes.

Research conclusions

This study consistently identified brain regions affected by sleep deprivation, emphasizing the left medial frontal gyrus and corpus callosum as key areas influenced by acute sleep loss. The findings contribute valuable insights into the neuropathology of sleep deprivation, offering a foundation for further research and potential interventions aimed at mitigating its adverse effects on brain function.

Research perspectives

Future research should explore the clinical implications of the identified brain regions and their functional changes in the context of sleep deprivation. Additionally, investigations into individual variability in response to sleep loss and the potential longitudinal effects on brain function will further enhance our understanding of the complex interplay between sleep, cognition, and neurological health.