Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleep Management Drug Could Resolve Jet Lag and Manic Depression

This is well worth taking note of.  It promises a control protocol for the circadian rhythm which does not adjust easily.  Those forced to live strange schedules could soon be able to switch sleep on which will be a blessing since it also promises not to leave after effects like grogginess.

I suspect that we all would like to safely schedule our sleep knowing that we will have a sound night’s sleep from the moment our head hits the pillow.

This is an important breakthrough that will bring sleep management into the mainstream and become acceptable to everyone.

Body clock pills 'could cure jet lag and manic depression'

Pills that eliminate jet lag and bring manic depression under control could be developed, after scientists found a drug which alters the body clock.

By Stephen Adams

Published: 6:00PM BST 23 Aug 2010

Certain types of obesity could also be tackled using new drugs which could reset malfunctioning body clocks.

All can be caused by problems with what biologists call our 'circadian rhythms', which determine not just sleep-wake cycles but also our metabolism.

Now a team of British and American scientists have found a drug which can slow down, kick start and reset the body clocks of mice.

It does this by altering a key enzyme which controls the process, called casein kinase 1.

Andrew Loudon, professor of animal biology at Manchester University, said previous research had only tinkered with the peripheral cogs of the clock.

"Up until now we haven't had any drug that plays with the core clock itself," he said

Using the drug, they managed to reset the clock of mice to an hour of their choosing - which could pave the way for a pill that does away with jet lag.

But Prof Loudon described that is a "trivial" use in comparison to its other potential applications.

New sleeping pills without side effects could be developed, he said, which "could have some significant benefit in establishing normal sleep patterns" among insomniacs and shift workers.

Bi-polar disorder - otherwise known as manic depression - was another target, as studies with mice showed it could be a symptom of problems with what he called the "core clockwork".

There was even the possibility that such drugs could be used to tackle certain types of obesity that were the result of a faulty metabolism.

He and Dr Mick Hastings of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, worked with a team from Pfizer, the drugs company.

Their findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were funded by the MRC and the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBS RC).

Prof Loudon concluded: "We've shown that it's possible to use drugs to synchronize the body clock of a mouse and so it may also be possible to use similar drugs to treat a whole range of health problems associated with disruptions of circadian rhythms.

"This might include some psychiatric diseases and certain circadian sleep disorders. It could also help people cope with jet lag and the impact of shift work."

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