The Neuroscience Sleep Laboratory investigates the underlying neural mechanisms that control sleep.
     The focus of our lab is to investigate the anatomical and neurochemical substrates that are involved in sleep
and waking.

     The overarching question is what is the function(s) of sleep? Our laboratory employs the tools of the physiological
psychologist: lesion, stimulation, recording and histological techniques to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms
involved in sleep.

    As represented above, our subject is the norwegian white rat (ratus norvegicus).

The Neuroscience Sleep Lab of Dr Michael Anch is concerned with the basic neural mechanisms of sleep, including neuroanatomical and physiological processes associated with sleep. The lab exclusively utilizes animal models, specifically the Sprague-Dawley strain of rat.  The major emphasis of  the lab has been the identification of neuroanatomical structures associated with sleep homeostasis. The lab has already presented data supporting a theory that the basal ganglia - and more specifically the globus pallidus – may play a significant role in this homeostatic regulation.

    Currently, the lab's focus has evolved into the study of etiological factors and treatment modalities for Parkinson's Disease (PD). We have several ongoing studies, involving undergraduate as well as graduate students, focusing on PD. These involve behavioral as well as histological studies in our rodent model of PD.

    The laboratory is equipped for all the procedures required to record sleep, including a surgical site for implantation of electrodes, recording equipment, sleep recording chambers, a sleep deprivation chamber, behavioral equipment including a water maze and open-field apparatus, and a .high powered microscope with digital camera.

The sleep deprivation chamber was developed in collaboration with Biomedical Engineering at Saint Louis University and has the unique ability to identify sleep in the animal and automatically begin sleep deprivation.

    The laboratory personnel currently consists of Primary Investigator Dr Michael Anch, along with Dr. John (“Drew”) Albers .. The lab also has 16 undergraduate/medical student assistants from multiple fields of study. A primary focus of the lab is undergraduate exposure to animal research; undergraduates are encouraged to create experiments with assistance from the PI and graduate student. Undergraduates are also involved in surgical procedures, histological procedures, sleep stage scoring, and lab maintenance. Finally, undergraduates are expected to present a relevant paper at least once a year at the biweekly lab meetings.

      Future goals of the laboratory include the continuing effort of applying for grant support, as well as the publication and presentation of our results at scientific meetings.. Our most recent primary focus is mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s Disease, its behavioral consequences (including sleep), and possible methods of treatment. 

    For further information, contact Dr. Michael Anch at 314-977-2274 or email at ancham@slu.edu.