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NextGen Precision Health Neuroscience Seminar - December 6, 2021

More information and a recording of the talk is available below.

For questions about this event, please reach out to Mary Christie at

"Sleep to Remember; Sleep to Forget"

Presented by: Mahesh Thakkar, PhD – Professor and Director of Research, Department of Neurology, MU School of Medicine; Health Research Scientist at Truman VA

Date: Monday, December 6, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

Watch here


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe and debilitating disorder occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Insomnia and nightmares are key symptoms of PTSD. Research in Dr Thakkar’s lab is focused on understanding the causal role of sleep and the underlying neuronal mechanisms responsible for consolidation and erasure of traumatic memories. In this talk, Dr Thakkar will share the findings that implicates the sleep promoting melanin concentrating hormone, localized in the incerto-hypothamic region, in consolidation as well as erasure of traumatic memories.

Speaker Bio

Thakkar Headshot

University of Missouri researcher Dr. Mahesh Thakkar is working for a good night’s sleep

By investigating the neurobiological and behavioral factors controlling the sleep-wake cycle, Thakkar is helping lay groundwork to develop treatments for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Thakkar uses molecular/biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches to study the circadian system, responsible for regulating numerous rhythms in the body including sleep.

Working with fellow neurologist Dr. Pradeep Sahota, Thakkar spent more than five years examining the role of sleep in addiction including alcohol addiction. One in five adult Americans uses alcohol as a sleep aid, but the pair’s research suggests that such use can cause long-term sleep problems. They discovered that alcohol interferes with the sleep regulatory homeostatic system, causing insomnia and sleep disruptions.

Additionally, Thakkar has investigated histamine, the cause of inflammation in people with allergies, which also plays a role in sleep and wakefulness. After examining rodents with varying levels of the compound, he demonstrated that histamine promotes wakefulness via the basal forebrain regions.

At present, Thakkar is investigation the underlying mechanisms responsible for causing sleep disturbances in patients with post-traumatic stress disorders.