Sleep Disorders

04 July 2006

Gene linked to body clock

A gene that regulates sleep works much differently than first thought, new research suggests.


A gene that regulates sleep works much differently than first thought, new research suggests.

A report in Monday's online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that treatments for jet lag, insomnia and sleep problems related to disruptions in the body's circadian clock might need to be reworked in light of the findings.

Until now, scientists have believed that a mutation in the CK1 gene known as the tau mutation slowed the gene's activity and allowed the body clock to speed up. But researchers from the University of Michigan and University of Utah say the mutation actually slows the gene's activity.

The scientists said they plan to develop a mouse model so they can start to test ways to regulate the body clock based on the discovery, a necessary step before any new drugs could be developed to treat sleep disorders. – (HealthDayNews)

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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