Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences




Sleep deprivation is a common occurrence among many adults that can have inherently negative effects. While some of these effects are apparent, such as fatigue, irritability, and depressed mood, some are less apparent. One less apparent effect is the increased neural activity that results from being sleep deprived. Chronic Sleep Deprivation leads to increased neurological activity over a prolonged period of time. Researchers have shown that increased neurological activity results in an increase in extracellular tau protein and increased cerebrospinal fluid levels of amyloid beta. Tau protein in particular has been implicated in neurodegeneration because of its propensity for becoming neurofibrillary tangles upon aggregation. Physicians in training in all medical specialties, also known as residents and fellows, airplane pilots, and truck drivers have been known to suffer from sleep deprivation due to the unforgiving hours and context of their work. Understanding exactly how sleep deprivation causes neurological issues and who is most likely to suffer from them is of utmost importance in attempting to reduce the incidence of neurological disorders caused by “Tauopathies” secondary to sleep deprivation. In order to assess potential risk of sleep deprivation amongst individuals in professions with unforgiving hours this review focused on the effects of sleep deprivation as it relates to neurological functions. This investigation specifically examined medical residents and follows who are highly sleep deprived when compared to the rest of the population. An additional literature review was performed in order to determine if sleeping strategies, primarily changing sleep schedules as an interventional effort, could minimize the effects of reduced sleep. If these strategies prove to be effective, this would suggest that implementation of the sleep strategies would be beneficial for the neurological wellbeing of those in training to become physicians.