Episode 36

In Episode #36, Jesse interviews Dr. Christopher Winter on the importance of sleep to cognitive function.  This was an especially interesting interview.  As you know, when it comes to the enhancement of cognitive function, we at SDS believe that the obvious pillars of health (nutrition, exercise, sleep) can and should be optimized before dabbling in smart drugs or neuro-tech hardware. This interview further reinforces our belief that sleep is hugely important to the success of the serious neurological biohacker.

Dr. Christopher Winter has practiced sleep medicine and neurology in Charlottesville, Virginia since 2004, and has been involved with sleep medicine and sleep research since 1993. As owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, CNSM Consulting and the Medical Director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center, Dr. Winter is not only an active participant in patient care, but a dynamic speaker and researcher on the science of sleep.

The recipient of research awards from the Sleep Medicine Society and the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, Dr. Winter has authored numerous scientific papers and abstracts dealing with sleep and has been a presenter at many international sleep meetings. Currently, his research deals with sleep and its effect on athletic performance. In 2006, Major League Baseball awarded him with a grant to study the effect of scheduling and time zone travel on team performance. Dr. Winter also led a study evaluating the sleeping characteristics of 560 Division I-A college football players. He has served as a consultant for several baseball teams including the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the winter of 2008, he was an invited lecturer at the MLB winter meetings in Las Vegas, NV. Currently, he is the sleep medicine specialist for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His expertise in sleep as it relates to health and fitness led to Dr. Winter being named to the Men’s Health Magazine Health Advisory Board. He regularly answers readers’ questions about sleep and contributes to its articles as well as articles in Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and Details. He’s also written articles for other magazines including Triathlete.

Dr. Winter is a highly sought after speaker among private and commercial companies and has lectured on behalf of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Cephalon. Through these lectures, Dr. Winter has educated hundreds of physicians about various topics in sleep medicine. In addition, his wit and enthusiasm for sleep medicine make him especially well-suited for addressing non-physicians about the importance of sleep and has been a resource for organizations such as Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA).

This Week In Neuroscience: Unwitting Mice Team Up with Medical Researchers to Fight Alzheimer’s!

A study conducted by the Riken Brain Science Institute of Japan may revolutionize the way researchers conduct studies on Alzheimer’s disease.  The rate of Alzheimer’s disease in Japan is so high that the projected annual burden on the Japanese economy could reach $500 billion by 2050.  As shocking as that statistic is, the problem isn’t unique to Japan.  The rate of Alzheimer’s disease across the world (including the US, as baby-boomers continue to age) will weigh heavily on the global economy  – not to mention the devastating human toll.

Riken Brain Science researcher Takaomi Saido identified a fix for a longstanding problem in Alzheimer’s research – an over-expressed protein that, while helpful in mimicking human Alzheimer’s – often kills the effected mice at a young age – before drug therapies can be tested on these animals.  Dr. Saido’s team modified the DNA of subject mice with two mutations found in human familial Alzheimer’s disease patients.  These mutations accelerated the mice’s rate of memory loss, giving researchers a window of opportunity to evaluate potential drug therapies before the animal subject dies prematurely.

This is great news for the fight against Alzheimer’s – not so great news for mice.  We here at SDS would like to sincerely thank all of the mice who have given their lives in the battle against this terrible, life-crushing disease.  You’re cute… but human grandparents are cuter.

Read the original article here.

What You’ll Learn

  • The importance of sleep to health and cognitive function
  • Why consistent wake-up times are more important than when you go to bed
  • Why the “Ubermann” sleep regimen may not be all that it’s cracked up to be


Key Terms Mentioned

Written by Ben Pomeroy
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