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The sleep hormone discovery and its potential

31-12-2011

A research group at the Institute of the McGill University Health Centre made a massive breakthrough recently when they discovered the complex workings of the hormone melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone. The research, which was conducted in collaboration with scientists from Italy, shows the central role of melatonin plays in our sleep cycle. Their discovery led to the development of a drug called UCM 765, which activates the melatonin receptor in the brain. This new drug could revolutionise treatment for insomnia, helping millions of people across the world.

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland when there is no light. It is largely responsible for regulating sleep and maintaining the circadian rhythms that govern our lives. The researchers were able to pinpoint the melatonin receptors in the brain and facilitate a way of manipulating them with the drug UCM 765.

So far, their tests show that UCM 765 is able to stimulate deep and reinvigorating sleep in patients who suffer from insomnia. While it will take many years for the drug to pass through all the necessary trials and tests, this discovery could pave the way to a comprehensive and effective treatment for all forms of insomnia.


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