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Hypocretins (orexins) and sleep regulation

Albert E. Meier
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 8 Number 3: Page 172 (June 2002)

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Abstract: Resolving the tangle of neurophysiologic events that constitute sleep regulation has taken substantial strides in the past few years. The genetic basis of circadian processes was worked out first in fruit flies and has been extended progressively. That homeostatic processes were also under genetic control has been suspected, as has the heritable nature of some sleep disorders. Recently, two neuropeptides were discovered independently by two groups that have wide physiologic influences, including on appetite and sleep. Dysfunction of this hypocretin (orexin) system has been linked to narcolepsy in dogs and subsequently in mice and humans.

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