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Studying mice genetically modified to mimic the genetic disease neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) that is associated with sleep problems, researchers found that the animals, like some people with NF1, slept in short and irregular spurts.
The study may help identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms that go awry and cause fragmented sleep patterns in people with and without the disease, the researchers noted.
Statistics show that as many as half of people with NF1, a condition that causes benign tumors in the brain and on nerves throughout the body, have difficulty falling or staying asleep.