The thalamus may play a central role in synaptic renormalization in patients with thalamic stroke and that restoration during sleep is impaired after thalamic stroke.
Why this matters
The effects of stroke, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and cognitive impairments, and their severity may depend on synaptic plasticity, which has been linked to sleep.
During sleep a process called synaptic renormalization occurs, which refers to the overall reduction of synaptic strength. This is important for restoring the brain’s learning capacity and proper cognitive function during wakefulness.
Changes in synaptic strength are reflected as slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which can be analyzed to measure the effects of sleep after stroke.
The thalamus has demonstrated to be important for SWA, but its contribution to synaptic plasticity during sleep is unknown, particularly in patients with stroke.