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Fundamental research

18 - 04 - 2017

Eye drops to treat jetlag?

In both animals and humans, the switch from night to day causes physiological and behavioural changes (circadian rhythm). These changes are due to the ganglion cells of the retina, which detect the levels of ambient light and transmit the information to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain, that maintains the circadian rhythm. A study in the rat has shown that in response to light, retinal and SSCN cells produce vasopressin that stimulates the expression of the c-fos gene, a gene involved in the circadian rhythm.

This discovery suggests the possibility of one day treating circadian rhythm disorders, such as jetlag, using eye drops.