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August 11, 2003 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-08-11

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4EWS

Oh statue, where art thou?

Researchers link brain chemistry,
imbalances and sleep disorders

The statue of Prof. Martinus . G. Veltman was stolen from a stand near the
Randall Laboratory Central campus, but has been found.

LAND USE
Continued from Page 1
greenbelt, but is concerned over the
way the plan is executed.
"I don't want to come across as a
naysayer," she said. "In theory, I
don't have a problem with it, but it
depends on how the details are
worked out."
Higgins added that she is nervous
about who will pick the council that
determines how the raised money is

allocated, what property is pur-
chased and the way it's gone about.
"I'm also concerned about emi-
nent domain. What if people don't
want to sell their property but we
need it?" she said.
While she certainly has her reser-
vations, Higgins said she truly
believes this bill has possibilities.
"Bottom line for me is that any-
one who accepts this bill whole-
heartedly isn't asking enough
questions," she said.

By Neal Pais
Daily Staff Reporter
Two papers recently published in the journal Neurology
and funded by the National Institute of Neurological Dis-
eases and Stroke have presented the first definitive links
between sleep disorders and problems with brain chemistry.
The research leading up to the discovery focused on the
study of 13 subjects possessing Multiple Systems Atrophy, a
rare and fatal degenerative neurological disease that is gen-
erally accompanied by severe sleep disorders.
The papers, authored by lead researcher and chair of the
Neurology Department Prof. Sid Gilman, focus on Obstruc-
tive Sleep Apnea and Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior
Disorder, two common disorders.
"I've been taking care of MSA patients for quite some
time ... I noticed that patients with the disease had both
OSA and RBD. Studying the connections between these
afflictions was a prudent way to investigate sleep disorders.
The literature about sleep disorders contains precious little
information about neurology; it seemed worthwhile to con-
duct both types of studies," Gilman said.
From the research, Gilman and his colleagues (including
Prof. Ronald Chervin, director of the University Sleep Disor-
ders Laboratory), found that the MSA patients possessed very
low amounts of certain brain cells - neurons - that produce
chemicals necessary to maintain normal sleep patterns; the

greater their lack, the worse their sleep problems were.
"It's exciting to be able to show this major neurochemi-
cal deficit for the first time, and confirm what other have
suspected," said Gilman in a written statement. "We don't
yet know if we will find this same effect in patients with
other neurological diseases or in people who are otherwise
neurologically well, but these findings are already further
research opportunities," he added.
If pursued further, Gilman's research could prove invalu-
able to millions of Americans. OSA and REM sleep
behavior disorder are problems that take significant tolls
on a large segment of the population. OSA, which is
marked by the temporary interruption of breathing
upwards of a dozen times per night, may lead to exces-
sive daytime exhaustion, decreased short-term memory
and reduced reaction time. RBD, while less common,
may be even more dangerous because it causes patients
to attempt to act out dreams, thereby potentially plac-
ing them in harm's way.
However concrete their findings may appear to be,
Gilman and his team are careful not to claim a causal link
between sleep disorders and neurochemistry. "The impli-
cations (of this research) are correlative. It is difficult to
show causation in science. As far as treatment goes, we
must first examine relationships between the disorder and
the brain. Afterwards, it seems that it would be best to treat
these disorders with a biomedical approach," Gilman said.

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HACKER
Continued from Page 1
her friend, sometimes knew things that
she hadn't told him.
"Sometimes when he talk about
things I found out that he knew very
personal, private stuff that I never tell
anybody," she said.
The student also alleges that Ma
used a professor's e-mail account to
get waivers for several prerequisites
to his major.

The student said ITCS told her to be
careful when using public computers
and advised her to change her password
frequently. They also recommended cre-
ating passwords of 13 to 16 digits and
using both capital letters and small let-
ters, as well as some numbers and signs.
Hilton said the University frequently
reviews its security procedures.
"We are examining again the way
access to computers is done. So
obviously we are trying to learn
from the incidents."

But some students say they are not
that concerned about the security of
their accounts. LSA sophomore Sarah
Babka said she has never taken precau-
tions in the past.
"To be honest, I haven't even changed
my password. I honestly don't think
about it. It's just something that doesn't
bother me," she said.
"As far as my e-mail and stuff, I really
don't have anything that confidential
that I keep in my account, nothing I'm
worried about."

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