Eye drops to get rid of jet lag could one day become a reality, say researchers after identifying eye cells that directly affect our body clock.
For the first time, in a study conducted on rats, researchers have been able to show that specific retinal cells, through a molecule called vasopressin, communicate directly with areas of the brain to influence the daily biological cycles such as sleep, eating, and hormone patterns, better known as circadian rhythms.
Jet lag occurs when there are disruptions to the circadian rhythms as a result of traveling to different time zones.
The new finding gives an opportunity to develop new treatments to help restore disturbed circadian rhythms through the eye, say scientists.
Commenting on the finding, Mike Ludwig, professor of neurophysiology at the University of Edinburgh and lead author of the study, said, "Our exciting results show a potentially new pharmacological route to manipulate our internal biological clocks. Studies in the future that alter vasopressin signaling through the eye could lead to developing eye drops to get rid of jet lag, although we are still a long way off from this.
The study is published in The Journal of Physiology.
by RTT Staff Writer
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