Jerome Siegel

Sleep, Motor control Our primary interest is in understanding the evolution, function and disorders of REM sleep. We are analyzing the brainstem-forebrain interactions responsible for the control of muscle tone in waking and across the sleep cycle. This is of importance in understanding REM sleep behavior disorder, cataplexy and sleep apnea. We are studying the phylogeny of sleep by investigating the physiology and neurochemistry of sleep in reptiles, marine mammals and other species. We are particularly interested in the role of monoamines in the control of arousal and movement. A major focus of the laboratory is on narcolepsy, its anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment. We have identified the cause of human narcolepsy, a loss of hypocretin cells. We are investigating ways of identifying, controlling and reversing the symptoms of narcolepsy in narcoleptic animals and in humans.