Navigation Links
Is a Better Sleeping Pill on the Way?
Date:4/3/2013

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new class of sleep medications appears to help people fall asleep without causing grogginess the next day, researchers say.

These new medications -- known as dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORA) -- target a more specific region of the brain than popular sleep drugs such as Ambien and Lunesta, promoting sleep without affecting learning and memory (also called "cognition"), according to the new research.

"We've shown that these compounds improve sleep at doses that don't impact cognition," said Jason Uslaner, lead author of a study published in the April 3 issue of Science Translational Medicine. Uslaner is director of In Vivo Pharmacology at Merck & Co., which funded the study.

Merck already has one such drug, suvorexant, under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

More than 30 million Americans struggle to get a good night's sleep, and about one-third of these use drugs to help the process, the study authors pointed out.

But widely prescribed sleep medications such as Ambien (zolpidem) and Lunesta (eszopiclone) can leave people feeling hung over and inattentive the next day. So much so that the FDA recently cut recommended doses of Ambien and other drugs that contain zolpidem for fear that their use, even the night before, might impair driving or other activities the next day.

Lunesta and Ambien affect GABA receptors, which are found throughout the brain and are associated with side effects, including thinking disturbances, and deficits in attention and memory, explained Uslaner.

About 15 years ago, scientists discovered chemical messengers known as orexins, which are released by a relatively small brain region known as the lateral hypothalamus. This area of the brain releases orexins during the day to keep us awake and lowers levels at night so we can sleep.

The appeal of orexin antagonists, said Dr. Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, is that they "target a system that's more specific for sleep."

That means, theoretically, fewer side effects and perhaps less of a tendency to be habit forming, Thorpy explained.

Uslaner and his colleagues investigated a compound called DORA-22, which has the same mechanism of action as suvorexant, to see how it fared alongside not only Ambien and Lunesta but also diazepam (Valium) in rats and rhesus monkeys.

DORA-22 did not lead to the same mental impairments as the other three drugs. Rhesus monkeys and rats performed just as well on memory and attention tasks shortly after being administered DORA-22 as they did on an inactive placebo.

In each case, the minimum dose to achieve sleep was compared with the minimum dose that altered memory and thinking. DORA-22 promoted sleep at lower doses than those that impaired mental skills when compared with the "control" drugs.

This is the first time in years that scientists have targeted a totally different receptor in the quest to combat insomnia, said Dr. Alexandre Abreu, co-director of the UHealth Sleep Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

But many questions remain: Do the drugs truly have fewer side effects? Will they be habit forming? And will they change the quality of sleep in any way?

Those questions will only be answered with more testing and use in humans, he said.

Experts note that findings from animal studies do not always hold up in human trials.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on insomnia.

SOURCES: Jason Uslaner, Ph.D., director, In Vivo Pharmacology, Merck & Co.; Michael Thorpy, M.D., director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Alexandre Abreu, M.D., co-director, UHealth Sleep Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.; April 3, 2013, Science Translational Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges Victims Dealing With A Mesothelioma Diagnosis to Call Them for the Names of the Best Mesothelioma Law Firms-Get Better Compensation
2. The Power of a Positive Mindset - Queendom.com’s New Study Reveals That Optimists Enjoy Better Mental and Physical Health
3. Kids of Better-Educated Parents Have Healthier Diets: Study
4. Madison Chiropractors Move to New Location to Better Serve Their Patients with Improved Environment Focused on Holistic Healing
5. hCGTreatments / Diet Doc hCG Diets & Weight Loss Plans Improves the My Diet Doc Health Questionnaire; Better Identifying Internal Factors that May Hinder Fast Weight Loss
6. Better Life Maids Birmingham Launches Local Birmingham Green House Cleaning Service
7. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges All Victims of Mesothelioma Cancer to Call Them for the Names of the Most Skilled Mesothelioma Law Firms-For Better Compensation
8. Desire to Succeed Linked to Better Grades in College
9. Differences in bone healing in old mice may hold answers to better bone healing for seniors
10. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges US Navy Veterans Diagnosed With Mesothelioma to Call Them for the Names of the Best Mesothelioma Law Firms-For Better Compensation
11. New imaging agent enables better cancer detection, more accurate staging
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Is a Better Sleeping Pill on the Way?
(Date:5/24/2016)... Scotch Plains, NJ (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... professional, high quality, patient-oriented dental care. From the moment a patient arrives at ... and Steven Tuckman will work with each and every patient to create a complete ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... PhysicianOne Urgent Care, advocators in ... tick bites and how to avoid being bitten this spring. , The official ... , Ticks, small spider-like insects, are known for attaching themselves to their prey while ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... CO (PRWEB) , ... May ... ... official announcement of Essette Dashboard, its highly anticipated, web-based software module. The ... platform. The application’s “secret sauce”? Integration with Izenda’s self-service business intelligence solution ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... NutraPre today announced the ... pregnant women to prevent morning sickness and promote overall heath. Engineered with advanced ... and taste of water. , “Imagine a pregnancy without morning sickness,” NutraPre CEO ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... , ... Edward D. Buckingham, M.D . is excited announce that he ... is put out by the National Consumer Advisory Board to honor excellence in medicine. ... for this award. , The National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB) is a private organization ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Experts from various ... Medicine and the role of technology in innovative ... The First International Conference of VPS-Penn Medicine opened in ... and presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister ... Medicine, which helps provide personalized medicine and tailor-made healthcare in ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... -- The global  reprocessed medical devices market ... according to a new study by Grand View Research, ... the lack of centralized support for waste disposal in ... for reprocessed medical devices market. Additionally, the long-term cost-efficiency ... the original device is the high impact rendering driver ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... 2016 DS Biopharma (DS) ... anti-inflammatory compound DS102 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ... (NASH) patients. Recent DS preclinical data ... tissue and has bronchodilatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties ... Company will publish further detail on these findings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: