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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 24, 2010 

Scientists have developed a drug that successfully resets and restarts the natural 24-hour body clock of lab mice.

The ability to do this in a mammal opens up the potential to pharmacologically address a variety of human difficulties, including some psychiatric disorders, jet lag and the health impact of shift work.

Researchers were led by Professor Andrew Loudon from the University of Manchester and Dr. Mick Hastings of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

The team also worked with a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Pfizer led by Dr. Travis Wager.

Professor Loudon said, “It can be really devastating to our brains and bodies when something happens to disrupt the natural rhythm of our body clocks. This can be as a result of disease or as a consequence of jet lag or frequent changing between day and night shifts at work.

“We’ve discovered that we can control one of the key molecules involved in setting the speed at which the clock ticks and in doing so we can actually kick it into a new rhythm.”

Most living creatures and plants have an internal body timing system, called the circadian clock. This is a complex system of molecules in every cell that drives the rhythm of everything from sleep in mammals to flowering in plants.

Light and the day and night cycle are very important for resetting the clock and the fine adjustments are made through the action of several enzymes, including one called casein kinase 1, which has been the center of this project.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/08/24/researchers-develop-drug-to-reset-body-clock/17200.html

 



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