Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New pill increases dreaming sleep

06.02.2006


A new sleeping pill that increases dreaming sleep improves memory capacity, according to the results of new research.



With only 10% of the 20-30% of the population who suffer with insomnia taking medication, pharmaceutical companies have been searching for the perfect sleeping pill. And one company at least has developed a completely new type of drug that not only induces sleep, but also increases the dream phase, consolidating memory and improving one’s sense of wellbeing.

The drug targets the orexin system, which is also associated with feeding and addiction. Because of this, experts think a drug that effectively targets the system could also find application in treatments for obesity and addiction.


Orexin is a neuropeptide hormone that was discovered in 1998. It is known to control feeding and is associated with narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that causes people to fall asleep several times a day and to have paralyzing attacks.

Swiss company Actelion’s candidate drug orexin-RA-1 blocks the orexin system. Rats given the drug slept soundly and performed better in maze tests the following day than rats given conventional sleeping medications, suggesting that the drug improves memory capacity. Measurements of muscle tone and brain activity revealed an increase in the dream phase of sleep. ‘The dream phase is when memory is hardwired in the brain,’ Actelion CEO Jean Paul Clozel told Chemistry & Industry.

According to Clozel, older medications reduce REM sleep so that people do not dream enough and wake feeling tired and unwell.

Shahrad Taheri, a lecturer in medicine at the University of Bristol and one of the first people to experiment on orexin, says that a drug acting on this system could have beneficial effects other than inducing sleep.

‘Overweight is associated with obesity, and orexin is thought to be involved in feeding regulation,’ he says. ‘A beneficial effect of blocking the orexin system could be that the person would eat less.’ The fact that narcoleptoics are resistant to amphetamine addiction also suggests an application in preventing addiction, according to Taheri.

The drug is going into Phase II trials. Clozel says it could be on the market by 2012 and admits that there are plans to extend its application beyond insomnia.

Unlike older medicines, orexin-RA-1 shows no sign of being addictive or of losing its effect over time. Attempts by other companies to develop a drug targeting this system failed to reach the clinical trials phase.

Lisa Richards | alfa
Further information:
http://www.chemind.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>