HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Unlocking Secrets Of The Body's Inner Clock; Researchers Discover Key Control Mechanism For An Area Of The Brain That Regulates Sleep

Much of what determines whether you sleep well or badly happens in a tiny area of the brain consisting of just a few thousand nerve cells, or neurons. Now, researchers at Oregon Health Sciences University have discovered that a chemical produced within the brain can slow the activity of those cells almost to a stop, effecting the body's reaction to light and darkness. The research, published in the March 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, opens an entirely new avenue of research towards understanding the molecular basis of sleep disorders and problems related to natural light cycles, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The research focuses on an area deep in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is about the size of a pinhead. The SCN is known to regulate the circadian rhythm -- the 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness. When neurons in the SCN are damaged, the sleep cycle is disrupted.

"The connection between these brain cells and the circadian cycle is clear," said Charles Allen, Ph.D., associate professor in OHSU's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology and lead author of the Journal of Neuroscience study. "Now we have powerful evidence that a substance we call orphanin alters the response of this area of the brain to light."

Orphanin (also known as nociceptin, or OFQ), is a peptide, or combination of amino acids that are the basic building blocks of proteins. This peptide is at work in several areas of the brain.

"The areas where orphanin is active, besides in the SCN, play a role in feeding, drinking behavior, nursing behavior, reproductive behavior, regulation of body temperature and reward, among other things," said David Grandy, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at OHSU and senior author of the paper. Orphanin acts as a neurotransmitter, a kind of messenger that tells cells how to act. While its role elsewhere in t
'"/>

Contact: Henry Sessions
sessionh@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
15-Mar-1999


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Inner city adolescents identify jobs, education as keys to their future
2. Quality Parenting Helps Kids Cope With Inner-City Stress
3. Researchers search for first sign of congestive heart failure
4. Researchers say breast cancer in Africa may provide clues to the disease in African-Americans
5. Researchers close in on breast cancer vaccine
6. Researchers discover link between insulin and Alzheimers
7. Researchers model brains electrical storm during a seizure
8. Researchers track programs success in curbing aggressive behavior
9. Researchers confirm Vioxx nearly doubled cardiovascular risks in cancer prevention study
10. Researchers offer emergency workers a lifeline
11. Researchers discover genetic variant that may explain why women develop M.S. more than men

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


(Date:12/9/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Representatives with Vigorous Innovations announced today that it ... for Christmas. , “We’re very excited about the launched of the VI PRO Mini ... “The new massage gun can eliminate the fatigue of the day and relieve the ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... , ... December 09, 2019 , ... ... Pain Institute, Presidential Appointee U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Pain ... the sixth annual 2019 Summit on Balance Pain Management in Washington DC. , ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... ... December 09, 2019 , ... WEDI , the nation’s ... care information exchange and a trusted advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and ... Board of Directors, election of Officers* as well as the re-election of ten previous ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... INDIANAPOLIS (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2019 , ... ... medical device companies, today announced new updates to the platform’s - - ... in customers’ ability to identify, assess, and track the items impacted by change ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... ... December 09, 2019 , ... ... that help food and manufacturing companies engage with their workforces to drive ... solution helps manufacturers build a cohesive culture that is designed to protect ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2019)... ... December 09, 2019 , ... Hawaii Health ... farm-to-state program championed by State Senate President Ronald Kouchi. As part of the ... markets for local farmers. In addition to local food sourcing, the initiative will ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2019 , ... ... solutions to optimize healthcare provider savings across purchased services contracts, today announced its ... healthcare provider in San Diego County with four acute care hospitals, three specialty ...
(Date:12/9/2019)... ... December 09, 2019 , ... American Pharmaceutical Review, the ... has released its documentary on " Making Data Work: Leveraging Data for Better ... are currently using data to produce products, and how they can leverage the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: