Foley, Keelyn - The Effect of Therapeutic Sleep Deprivation for Depression on the Putamen
The WHO rated depression as the fourth greatest public health problem in 2014, and the leading cause of disability in industrialized countries. Sleep deprivation is a lesser known cure for depression, but one that has been proven to work in 60% of the population, and to decrease symptoms by 50%. However, the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are unknown, so my study will look into the neurological pathways responsible. For my study, I will be taking 13 depressed patients and 3 controls into the sleep laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. There they will stay for 5 days for 4 nights (one sleepless). They will take two different types of tests- Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) tests, which look into changes in depression, and Balloon Analog Risk Task scans (BART), which look into changes in the risk activation, which is directly related to the putamen. My data shows that there is a clear correlation between putamen activation and an increase in mood. This direct relationship can be shown on a graph with an R2 value of .27. The contributions of my project are large, as my study can help create a cure for depression that can help up to 60% of the population. My data will be used to create a treatment that stimulates the Putamen in a similar way that sleep deprivation did, and can help increase mood.