Research Provides New Insights into Sleep/Awake Circadian Rhythm Pattern

Irvine, CA (Scicasts) — Research from University of California, Irvine scientists and their colleagues offers new insights into why many animals sleep at night and are active during the day, while others do the reverse. A team headed by Qun-Yong Zhou, UCI professor of pharmacology, examined the day/night patterns of monkeys (diurnal) and mice (nocturnal) and found that although both process light through the eyes in a similar way, the signals that determine sleep/awake modes are sent to the brain via different routes and produce completely opposite sleep/awake patterns. “Since humans are diurnal, this has clear implications for potential novel treatment of certain sleep or mood disorders,” said Zhou, the study’s lead author. Results appear online in Molecular Brain. Sleep/awake patterns are among the basic physiological functions in virtually all…


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