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New Animal Study Might Explain Jet Lag Differences

Posted 21 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 21 – The way the human circadian clock sets itself may explain why jet lag tends to affect people more severely when they're flying west to east compared to the other direction, a new animal study indicates. The circadian clock, which regulates many body processes, has to make regular adjustments to stay synchronized with the light-dark cycle of where a person is and does this by delaying or advancing its time in response to light. Typically, these adjustments occur without notice. However, the process is disrupted by sudden major changes in the light-dark cycle, such as when a person takes a long flight. Previous research found that delaying and advancing the circadian clock occur in different pathways in an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This new study found that the molecular mechanisms in these pathways are significantly different. "We have known ... Read more

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Green Light Exposure Can Reset Body Clock

Posted 12 May 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 12 – Exposure to green light can reset the body's internal clock and alter sleep-related hormonal responses, new research suggests. The finding, reported in the May 12 issue of Science Translational Medicine, stems from research conducted by a team of scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and builds on prior research about how the eye handles light exposure in ways that are unrelated to vision. So-called "non-visual responses" had previously been linked to blue light exposure, the study authors noted. In this regard, the eye's photoreceptor system located in the eye's ganglion cell layer, and distinct from the part of the eye responsible for processing sight, had been identified as a center for special cells that detect and absorb blue light, thereby triggering a shift in the viewer's internal circadian body clock. Blue light exposure had also previously ... Read more

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