HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Dissecting sleep' by studying the strange phenomenon of cataplexy

Measuring brain cell activity in dogs with a genetic form of narcolepsy, neurobiologists Jerome Siegel and his colleagues have presented evidence that wakefulness is maintained by the activity of neurons triggered by the neurotransmitter histamine. The discovery will be appreciated by anyone in whom antihistamines in allergy or over-the-counter sleep drugs cause drowsiness.

The findings offer new insights both into normal sleep and narcolepsy.

To "dissect" the neurological components of sleep, the scientists studied the phenomenon of cataplexy -- the abrupt loss of muscle tone while maintaining a state of complete wakefulness. The majority of narcoleptics suffer from this malady, in which a strong emotion, even a funny joke, can cause them to drop into a state of paralyzed awareness ranging from a few seconds to half an hour. Similarly, in narcoleptic dogs, emotional excitement, play, or even receiving a favorite food can trigger cataplexy.

The researchers have been using cataplexy as a unique natural "experiment" to distinguish the neural basis of loss of consciousness from that of skeletal muscle paralysis during sleep.

In their studies, they have concentrated on the role of three kinds of neurons in the brain's hypothalamus -- the central controlling region for sleep and wakefulness.

In their previous experiments, they found that noradrenalin- and serotonin-triggered neurons reduced their electrical activity during cataplexy. In the latest experiments, they measured the activity of histamine-triggered neurons when the dogs experienced cataleptic episodes when given a food treat or toy.

The scientists discovered that the histamine-triggered neurons maintained their normal waking-level activity during such cataplexy. What's more, when the researchers administered drugs that increased cataplexy, they found no effect on the histamine neurons. In contrast, a drug that affected the norepinephrine neurons aggravated catap
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
26-May-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Washington University in St. Louis leads group studying aging process
2. Carnegie Mellon scientists reveal ways of studying, resolving PCB contamination in US rivers
3. A&M researcher studying genes of mosquitoes
4. Fox Chase Cancer Center researcher develops new model for studying prions mad cow disease
5. Purdue developing less costly model for studying human disease
6. New tool for studying animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases
7. Buffalo neuroimaging researchers studying multiple sclerosis from inside human brain
8. Dog model for studying inherited human blindness
9. MCG researcher develops animal model for studying autoimmune disease
10. Altadena chemist wins national award for studying life molecules
11. New method for studying ocean currents to help fight erosion

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/26/2019)... , ... October 23, 2019 , ... ... Christina Hughes , to its executive leadership team. , As a market ... solutions allow growth-stage biotech and pharma companies to reduce timelines and improve quality ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 25, 2019 , ... ... built, helium-based leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food ... advanced helium leak detection system, the SIMS Model 1915+ . The SIMS ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... ... Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group ... Sector,” with German biotech strategy consulting firm, Catenion. The seminar will take place from ... . , Speakers from Greenberg Traurig and Catenion will discuss best practices and practical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/9/2019)... ... November 08, 2019 , ... ... intelligence (AI)-powered technology for use in pathology research, today announced the results ... samples from patients enrolled in the phase 3 selonsertib studies (STELLAR). Strong ...
(Date:11/5/2019)... ... November 05, 2019 , ... ... has received CE Mark for its Fusion Bx 2.0 prostate fusion biopsy solution. ... interface, the Fusion Bx 2.0 will give urologists across Europe the ability to ...
(Date:11/2/2019)... ... October 31, 2019 , ... ... artificial intelligence pioneer tellic. drug360 brings tellic’s expertise in biomedical language processing ... researchers to quickly uncover relationships between genes, diseases, variants, phenotypes, and other biomedical ...
(Date:10/29/2019)... ... October 29, 2019 , ... ... to announce its Silver sponsorship and cold chain validation workshop at the Biomanufacturing ... Pines in San Diego, California. , The Biomanufacturing World Summit brings ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: