Monday June 17, 2019

New Sleeping Pill Can Help Patients Wake up in Response to Threat

However, more studies on humans are needed to confirm DORA safety and efficacy, they noted

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Pills (representational Image), Pixabay

Japanese scientists have shown that a new class of sleeping pill that preserves the ability to wake in response to a threat, unlike the commonly prescribed drugs that muffles a sleeping brain’s “intruder alert”.

Even during sleep the brain continuously processes sensory information, waking us if it detects a threat. But the most widely prescribed class of sleeping pills, known as benzodiazepines, makes us less likely to rouse in response to sensory input.

The findings showed that millions prescribed on these sleeping pills would sleep through a fire alarm as someone vacuuming next to their bed.

 However, the new class of drugs called dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs) more selectively targeted the brain’s sleep or wake pathways, which gives them safety advantages over benzodiazepines, said researchers from the Kagoshima University.

These include a reduced “hangover effect”, with DORAs less likely to affect driving ability the day after use.

“Benzodiazepines stimulate the widespread brain receptor GABA-A, which makes us sleepy but also suppresses off-target brain areas – including the ‘gatekeeper’ that decides which sensory inputs to process,” explained author Tomoyuki Kuwaki, Professor at the varsity.

Contraception, Men
New sleeping pill can help patients wake up in response to threat.

In the study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience journal, mice that were given the new experimental hypnotic drug DORA-22 wake as quickly when threatened as drug-free sleepers — and then fall back asleep as quickly as ones given standard sleeping pills, once the threat is gone.

While DORA-22 allows mice to wake to a threat, it still helps them sleep.

Thus, the selectivity of DORAs could make them a safer alternative during sleep as well — by allowing the brain’s sensory gatekeeper to stay vigilant to threats, the researchers said.

Also Read- Here’s What Causes Cancer in Children

However, more studies on humans are needed to confirm DORA safety and efficacy, they noted.

“Although it remains to be seen whether DORAs have the same properties when used in humans, our study provides important and promising insight into the safety of these hypnotics,” Kuwaki said. (IANS)

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Regular Intake of Sleeping Pills Can Adversely Effect Blood Pressure

The team suggested that sleeping pill use may be an indicator of a future need for greater hypertension treatment and the need to investigate underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles that may contribute to hypertension.

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blood pressure
According to the study, published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International, using sleeping pills on a regular basis is linked to the use of an increasing number of blood pressure medications over time. Pixabay

Be cautious if you use sleeping pills regularly as a new study has found that it may impact blood pressure (BP) in older adults.

According to the study, published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International, using sleeping pills on a regular basis is linked to the use of an increasing number of blood pressure medications over time.

“Previous reports on associations of sleep characteristics with blood pressure and hypertension were focused on middle-aged adults; however, these associations were absent or inconsistent among older adults,” said senior author José Banegas from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain.

Depression
Consumption of sleeping pills was prospectively linked to an increased number of antihypertensive drugs, the team said. VOA

For the study, the research team involved 752 older adults with hypertension followed from 2008-2010 through 2012-2013.

According to the researchers, the analyses were carried out with logistic regression, and adjusted for demographics, lifestyle, comorbidity, baseline number of antihypertensive drugs and hypertension control.

During the follow-up period, 156 patients increased the number of antihypertensive drugs. No association was found between sleep duration or quality and the change in antihypertensive drug use.

sleep
The team suggested that sleeping pill use may be an indicator of a future need for greater hypertension treatment and the need to investigate underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles that may contribute to hypertension. Pixabay

Consumption of sleeping pills was prospectively linked to an increased number of antihypertensive drugs, the team said.

Also Read: Artificial Intelligence: A Magic Pill That Can Solve Any Disease For Which There Is No Cure Yet

The team suggested that sleeping pill use may be an indicator of a future need for greater hypertension treatment and the need to investigate underlying sleep disorders or unhealthy lifestyles that may contribute to hypertension.

Earlier, a study, published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, warned that regular intake of certain sleeping pills may be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (IANS)