Ionic control of sleep and wakefulness

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Science  29 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6285, pp. 517-518
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8178

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Brain electrical activity differs markedly between wakefulness and sleep. Concomitant shifts in the ion composition of brain extracellular fluids were thought to be a consequence rather than a cause of the sleep-wake–dependent changes in neuronal activity. On page 550 of this issue, Ding et al. (1) report the surprising observation that ionic changes in the extracellular fluid are a potent control of sleep-wake–dependent neuronal activity.