A study conducted in the United Kingdom by researchers at the University of Oxford has identified a genetic mechanism in mice that hinders the ability of biological clock to adapt to changes in light and dark patterns, so this finding could be used to help develop drugs that alleviate jet lag.
In the research it was discovered that a molecule called SIK1 is key for rodents to respond to variations in light cycles. They then conducted an experiment to simulate a jet lag in the animals altering their daily light / dark cycle, and this allowed them to observe that when the activity of SIK1 was blocked, the animals recovered more quickly from the false jet lag.
Understanding the mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms would offer the possibility of creating drugs against jet lag, which could be used to treat other sleep disorders
It remains to be seen whether this phenomenon occurs in the same way in humans, as this would help to understand the mechanisms that generate and regulate the circadian clock, which would offer the possibility of creating medicines to cure the disease. jet lag that, in addition, could also be used for the treatment of other sleep disorders.
In an article published in Cell, the authors of the work explain that they are currently collaborating with the pharmaceutical company Roche to analyze the patterns of genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, an area of the brain that in mammals is responsible for the regulation of circadian rhythms.