Navigation Links
Why we could all do with a siesta

The Spaniards may have been right all along ?a siesta after a hearty lunch is natural, new research suggests.

Scientists at The University of Manchester have for the first time uncovered how brain cells or 'neurons' that keep us alert become turned off after we eat.

The findings ?published in the scientific journal Neuron this week ?have implications for treating obesity and eating disorders as well as understanding levels of consciousness.

"It has been known for a while that people and animals can become sleepy and less active after a meal, but brain signals responsible for this were poorly understood," said Dr Denis Burdakov, the lead researcher based in Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences.

"We have pinpointed how glucose ?the sugar in food ?can stop brain cells from producing signals that keep us awake.

Dr Burdakov's research has shown exactly how glucose blocks or 'inhibits' neurons that make orexins ?tiny proteins that are vital for normal regulation of our state of consciousness.

"These cells are critical for responding to the ever-changing body-energy state with finely orchestrated changes in arousal, food seeking, hormone release and metabolic rate to ensure that the brain always has adequate glucose."

Malfunction of orexin neurons can lead to narcolepsy, where sufferers cannot stay awake, and obesity; there is also evidence that orexin neurons play a role in learning, reward-seeking and addiction.

"We have identified the pore in the membrane of orexin-producing cells that is responsible for the inhibiting effect of glucose.

"This previously unknown mechanism is so sensitive it can detect minute changes in glucose levels ?the type that occurs between meals for example.

"This may well provide an explanation for after-meal tiredness and why it is difficult to sleep when hungry.

"Now we know how glucose stops orexin neurons 'firing', we have a better understanding of what m ay occur in disorders of sleep and body weight.

"This research perhaps sheds light on why our European friends are so fond of their siestas."


'"/>

Source:University of Manchester


Related biology news :

1. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
2. Tiny particles could solve billion-dollar problem
3. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
4. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
5. A comprehensive response to HIV could prevent 10 million AIDS deaths in Africa by 2020
6. How the environment could be damaging mens reproductive health
7. Dead zone area in Gulf could be increasing, researchers say
8. Growth in biomass could put US on road to energy independence
9. Nano-bumps could help repair clogged blood vessels
10. Researchers develop assay that could be applied to drug screening
11. Currents could disrupt ocean food chain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market ... opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it ... from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ky. , June 23, 2016 ... two Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement ... placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies designed ... pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult ... subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose (ranging ...
Breaking Biology Technology: