Orexin A Sleep Surrogate

Orexin A, a naturally occurring brain hormone, has been successfully used to reverse the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys. Use of Orexin A allows these monkeys to endure all-nighters and then perform as well on cognitive tests as well-rested monkeys.

Researcher Jerome Siegel, professor of psychiatry at UCLA, remarked that Orexin A is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign... It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess."

In the DARPA-funded experiments, monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours. The animals were then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.

The study was published in the December 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans.

Siegle discovered that the absence of Orexin A seems to cause narcolepsy; administration of Orexin A to narcoleptics will be one of the first tests to be performed on humans, when the research reaches human trial stage.

Siegel and other caution against using Orexin A as a long-term substitute for sleep. "We have these other precedents, and it's not clear that you can't use orexin A temporarily to reduce sleep," said Siegel. "On the other hand, you'd have to be a fool to advocate taking this and reducing sleep as much as possible."

I feel like I've read about this before. Orexin A sounds a lot like the sleep surrogate that Robert Heinlein wrote about in 1941.

Mary Sperling woke at her usual hour the next day. She got up quietly to keep from waking Lazarus, ducked into her 'fresher, showered and massaged, swallowed a grain of sleep surrogate to make up for the short night...
(Read more about Heinlein's sleep surrogate)

If you want to get a good night's sleep, and are looking for technological aid, you might want to try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Via Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/30/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.