Narcolepsy hints at drug for insomniacs

 作者:庾枯     |      日期:2019-03-02 04:13:01
Trouble sleeping? Insomniacs can take heart from a new drug that makes the brain enter a state similar to narcolepsy. People with narcolepsy suddenly and unexpectedly fall asleep, probably because of defective orexin neurons in the hypothalamus. These normally release proteins called orexins that are needed to keep us awake. Catherine Brisbare-Roch at Actelion Pharmaceuticals in Allschwil, Switzerland, and her colleagues have developed a drug that blocks orexin receptors, in turn reducing the neurons’ firing rate. Preliminary studies suggest that the drug promotes sleepiness in rats, dogs and people (Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm1544). Unlike other sleeping pills,