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Body Clock Drug Could Cure Depression, Jet Lag, Obesity

Circadian manipulator resets rhythms in mice
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 6:11 PM CDT
Body Clock Drug Could Cure Depression, Jet Lag, Obesity
Scientists have developed a drug that can manipulate the body's clock.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists have developed a drug that can manipulate the body clocks of mice—opening up the possibilities of treating such wide-ranging disorders as jet lag, manic depression, and obesity. The drug, developed by a team of British and American scientists, can adjust the circadian rhythms of mice by altering a key enzyme named casein kinase 1. Previous circadian therapies, such as taking the hormone melatonin, have only indirect influence on the body's timekeeper.

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"Up until now we haven't had any drug that plays with the core clock itself," one of the scientists tells the Telegraph. The new drug can reset the circadian clock of a mouse to a desired hour, meaning that a human version could be used by jetlagged passengers, shift workers or insomniacs to re-align their sleep patterns. The drugs could also help treat other disorders, like manic-depression and obesity, which have a circadian component.
(Read more jet lag stories.)

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