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As seen in USA TODAY LIFE Section, Tuesday, October 23, 2007 Page 2D
two groups. The sleep-deprived group was awake 35hours; the other group slept normally.Using the brain scans, the researchers showed par-ticipants a series o images, rom neutral to increas-ingly negative and disturbing. The responses o bothgroups showed up as hot spots, but the sleep-deprivedevoked stronger responses because the prerontalarea o the brain that normally sends out inhibitingsignals wasn’t able to keep emotions in check.Though the thinking has been that psychiatric disor-ders cause poor sleep, Walker says now he’s not sosure because those he studied didn’t have psychiatricconditions, yet they exhibited emotional brain reac-tions similar to psychiatric conditions.Mary Carskadon, a proessor o psychiatry and humanbehavior at Brown University who has studied ado-lescents and sleep deprivation, says the new study iscompatible with her ndings. She is particularly con-cerned about what it means or adolescents, who areoten sleep-deprived and who are being diagnosedwith depression in increasing numbers.“What we don’t know is whether early sleep depriva-tion then projects out to things like major depressivedisorder or bipolar illness and whether we’re reallysetting up our kids or these major problems as theygrow up,” she says.
As seen in USA TODAY NEWS Section, Thursday, April 2, 2009 Page 3A
Drowsy drivers: A wake-up call
Sleep deprivation carries risks similar to drunken driving’s
By Larry CopelandUSA TODAYLionel Edwards used to nod o while driving. Foryears, he’d get behind the wheel and ater ve to 10minutes nd himsel dozing.“I was so exhausted because I wasn’t getting theproper sleep,” he says. “It was really, really bad, espe-cially at night.”Two years ago, Edwards, 39, was driving to hisPottstown, Pa., home ater working a night shit. Heell asleep, waking to the rantic honking o a wom-an whose car he was orcing o the road. “She wasalready on the shoulder,” Edwards says, adding thathe pulled over just in time or the woman to avoidcrashing into a ditch. “I told my wie, and she was re-ally upset. She said I had to (get help).”Drowsy driving is one o the most vexing problemsinvolving trac saety. It is a actor in more than100,000 crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and 40,000injuries annually, according to the National HighwayTrac Saety Administration. “That’s probably a con-servative estimate,” says Je Michael, the NHTSA’sassociate administrator or research and program de-velopment.Darrel Drobnich, chie program ocer o the Nation-al Sleep Foundation, puts the numbers much higher:71,000 injuries and more than 5,500 deaths a year.“It’s a huge problem that’s largely gone unreportedbecause we don’t have good, hard police data,” hesays.An obstacle or police is that there is no test ordrowsy driving like the Breathalyzer an ocer cangive a motorist suspected o drunken driving.
A new battle
Some sleep experts and state legislators say the na-tion’s progress against drowsy driving is about where