Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Melatonin, a hormone segregated by human body, regulates sleep better than somniferous

09.11.2009
Scientists of the University of Granada state that the exogenous administration of melatonin corrects the sleep/wakefulness pace when human biological clock gets altered. At present, this substance is being widely used by the pharmaceutical industry to design synthetic medicines, a very interesting therapeutic tool for the treatment of sleep alterations.

Melatonin, a natural hormone segregated by the own human body, is an excellent sleep regulator expected to replace somniferous, which are much more aggressive, to correct the sleep/wakefulness pace when human biological clock becomes altered.

Those are the conclusions of a research work carried out by Darío Acuña-Castroviejo and Germaine Escames, professors of the Institute of Biotechnology (Biomedical Research Centre of the University of Granada), who have been carrying out a complete analysis of the properties of this natural hormone segregated by the pineal gland for years.

Melatonin (frequently called the ‘hormone of darkness’, because the organism produces it at night) is currently being used by the pharmaceutical industry to design derivative synthetic medicines, a very interesting therapeutic tool for the treatment of sleep alterations. Not in vain, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) authorized in 2007 the use of melatonin for this type of therapies, after years of debate about the convenience of this measure.

Taking it at specific hours
The researchers of the University of Granada have stated that melatonin “is a very effective chronobiotic in the treatment of chronobiological alterations of the cycle sleep/wakefulness”, although its administration “must take place at certain hours of the day, inducing a phase advance or delay as convenient”. Therefore, the scientists point out that the “lack of effect of melatonin is related, most of the times, to an inadequate administration”.

The authors of this work, published in the Revista de Neurología (2009), state that endogenous melatonin (this is, that segregated by the human organism) “plays an important role in the circadian regulation of sleep”, whereas exogenous melatonin (administered as a medicine) “has an influence on sleep aspects such as latency and quality”.

Actually, the ability of melatonin to readapt the biological clock has been studied in blind individuals, as they cannot make use of the information of the photoperiod to activate the endogenous pacemaker segregated by melatonin at night. The scientists have pointed out that the administration of melatonin every 24 hours (1-10 mg/a day) re-establishes the pace in these persons, including the sleep/wakefulness, synchronizing them to a period of 24 hours.

The use of melatonin to regulate sleep is not the only work carried out at the Institute of Biotechnology of the UGR. In the last years, professors Acuña and Escames have proved that this substance is also useful to slow down cell ageing, to treat diseases such as Parkinson and to slow down cell death caused by serious infectious processes that affect the entire organism technically known as sepsis. Exactly, they are working at present on a clinical test in Phase II to assess the therapeutic of melatonin in the septic shock on patients, funded by the Health Institute Carlos III.

Reference: Professors Darío Acuña Castroviejo and Germaine Escames
Institute of Biotechnology, Biomedical Research Centre of the University of Granada.
Phone number. 958 241000 ext. 20169
E-mail. dacuna@ugr.es; gescames@ugr.es

Darío Acuña Castroviejo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Maelstroms in the heart
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation

nachricht Decoding the structure of the huntingtin protein
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Decoding the structure of the huntingtin protein

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression

22.02.2018 | Information Technology

Minimising risks of transplants

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>