A Drug May Reset the Body Clock

MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 26 (UPI) — U.S. and British researchers say they have succeeded in resetting the 24-hour body clock in mice.

Researcher Andrew Loudon of the University of Manchester, England, says several enzymes are responsible for fine adjustments in synchronization of circadian rhythm — a timing system that regulates biological processes plants as well as creatures.

Loudon, Dr. Mick Hastings of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, Dr. Travis Wager of Pizer in Groton, Conn., and colleagues say a drug that inhibits one of the enzymes — casein kinase 1 — helps in re-setting the body clock in mice.

“We’ve discovered that we can control one of the key molecules involved in setting the speed at which the clock ticks and in doing so we can actually kick it into a new rhythm,” Loudon says in a statement.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests the finding may help treat a number of health problems linked to disrupted circadian rhythms.

“This might include some psychiatric diseases and certain circadian sleep disorders,” Loudon says. “It could also help people cope with jet lag and the impact of shift work.”

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