Scientists find way to control body clock
Scientists from St. Louis University say they may have found a way to control the body's circadian biological clock, also known as our internal clock.
Previous research has shown that the internal clock plays an important role in physical and mental health and that disruptions can cause sleep disorders and other health problems.
In a new animal study, scientists focused on a protein called REV-ERB, which is known to help regulate the internal clock of mammals. Using mice with dysfunctional circadian rhythms, the researchers tested the effects of a synthetic drug-like molecule (SR9011) when it targeted the REV-ERB protein.
The researchers found that the synthetic molecule increased wakefulness in the mice and also reduced symptoms of anxiety. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that targeting the body's internal clock through the drug may be an effective treatment for both sleep and anxiety disorders.
Further studies, however, are needed to determine how this approach could affect humans.