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New Website Targets Common Sleep Disorder in Blind Individuals

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For most people, the clock changes just twice a year for Daylight Saving Time. But for someone with Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (N24HWD, or Non-24), their internal body clock changes every day.

In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that approximately 65,000 – 95,000 people suffer from Non-24, a sleep disorder in which a person's sleep period can advance by about 15 minutes each night. Patients suffering from Non-24 experience severe insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, which often interferes with social, family and work obligations. Non-24 is most common in the totally blind who lack light perception and affects more than 50 percent of this population.  Sighted people can experience similar sleep or circadian rhythm disorders as well, in the form of jet lag or from night shift work.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VNDA) launched today to promote awareness and support for those who may suffer from Non-24. Utilizing the website, people can access helpful information and research articles, listen to interviews conducted with medical experts, and learn about clinical trials.    

"'Non-24' is a serious health condition and, because many doctors themselves are unaware of the disorder, people can go undiagnosed for years. Though there's still no cure, it's important to have a place for people to go and learn about this condition, know that they're not alone, and then talk to their doctor about their options," said Melanie Brunson, Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind.

For more information, please visit

About Circadian Rhythm

Circadian Rhythm is the daily activity cycle that drives the rhythms of our body- from digestion to hormone secretions to our ability to sleep.  

The timing of human sleep is governed by the length of time since a person last slept and by their internal body clock.  The body clock or circadian clock controls the timing of human sleep with a rhythm that is regulated by a region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN, located in the hypothalamus, sends signals to help us stay awake and counteract the effects of fatigue. These signals peak in the evening, when the drive for sleep is high, and then diminish when bedtime approaches.

In most people, the sleep/wake circadian rhythm is maintained on a 24-hour day cycle and determined by the light exposure they get in the morning or evening.  When a person's body clock is mismatched with their sleeping and waking schedule, it may create a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.  

About the American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is a national organization of blind, visually impaired and sighted individuals whose purpose is to work toward independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. ACB programs and services include "The Braille Forum", a free monthly publication available in Braille, large print, on cassette and computer disk, and by e-mail subscription and at; numerous scholarship awards; and active participation in the national legislative and advocacy scene. ACB is also a valuable resource for information on programs and services in the blindness field and laws affecting blind persons.

About Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of clinical-stage products for central nervous system disorders. For more on Vanda, please visit

SOURCE Vanda Pharmaceuticals
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