North Carolina researchers say a new drug has temporarily improved performance and reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys.

The drug, currently known as CX717, might become valuable in helping military personnel, health professionals, shift workers and others who must function at top performance in spite of sleep deficits.

In addition to improving performance under normal conditions, the drug restored performance that was impaired after sleep loss, said Samuel Deadwyler, senior researcher, at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Brain imaging revealed that one basis for the drug’s effects was to reverse changes in brain patterns induced by sleep deprivation.

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