Tarja Stenberg

TOPIC: Sleep and its Regulation


Docent, M.D., PhD, Research Director

Sleep Team Helsinki, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Helsinki

www.svha.org.au| www.cognition.org.au



Dr. Stenberg (Porkka-Heiskanen) gained her MD and PhD degrees at the University of Helsinki. She moved to Northwestern University, Evanston, IL for a postdoctoral fellowship 1990 – 1992 and to Harvard Medical School as associate professor 1995-1997. She is presently a senior researcher at the University of Helsinki, Finland, leading a sleep research team. Her research has concentrated on the mechanisms of recovery sleep, leading to the finding that adenosine and nitric oxide increase in the basal forebrain during sleep deprivation and induce increase in sleep (recovery sleep). She has also studied the effects of prolonged wakefulness in humans and the connection between sleep and depression using animal models. Dr. Stenberg has been coordinating two European Union funded research consortia, which studied the effects of prolonged wakefulness on health and psychosocial functions. She is the past Secretary of the European Sleep Research Society and past President of the Brain Research Society of Finland.


Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Strecker,R.E., Bjorkum, A.A., Thakkar, M., Greene,R.W., McCarley, R.W., Adenosine: A mediator of the sleep-inducing effects of prolonged wakefulness. Science 276: 1265-1268, 1997

Zant JC, Rozov S, Wigren H-K, Pertti Panula P, and Porkka-Heiskanen T, Histamine release in the basal forebrain mediates cortical activation through cholinergic neurons. J Neurosci 19;32(38):13244-54, 2012

Rytkönen, K-M., Wigren, H-K., Kostin, A., Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Kalinchuk, A., Nitric oxide mediated recovery sleep is attenuated with aging. Neurobiol Aging, 31 (11): 2011 – 2019, 2010

Wigren, H-K, Rytkönen, K-M, Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Aging attenuates basal forebrain lactate release and promotion of cortical arousal during prolonged       wakefulness J Neurosci, 16;29(37):11698-707, 2009

Kalinchuk, A., McCarley RW, Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Basheer, R., Sleep deprivation triggers inducible nitric oxide – dependent nitric oxide production in wake-active basal forebrain neurons. J Neurosci  30 (40): 13254-13264, 2010

Ollila HM, Kronholm E, Kettunen J, Silander K, Perola M, Porkka-Heiskanen T, Salomaa V, Paunio T, Insomnia does not mediate or modify the association between MTNR1B risk variant rs10830963 and glucose levels. Diabetologia. 2016 May;59(5):1070-2.

Aho V, Ollila HM, Kronholm E, Bondia-Pons I, Soininen P, Kangas AJ, Hilvo M, Seppälä I, Kettunen J, Oikonen M, Raitoharju E, Hyötyläinen T, Kähönen M, Viikari JSA, Härmä M, Sallinen M, Olkkonen VM, Alenius H, Jauhiainen M, Paunio T, Lehtimäki T, Salomaa V, Orešič M, Raitakari OT, Ala-Korpela M, Porkka-Heiskanen T. Prolonged sleep restriction induces changes in pathways involved in cholesterol metabolism and inflammatory responses. Scientific Reports, 2016

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