Hope for night shift workers as discover secret to how your EYES affect your body clock
A CURE for night shift “hangovers” and jet lag could be closer after scientists found how eyes affect the body clock.
They discovered hormone-producing cells in the retina send light signals to part of the brain governing our circadian rhythms.
The eyes could be key to fighting jet lag[/caption]
The brain uses these signals to regulate functions such as alertness and temperature. Researchers hope their study on rats could lead to methods of resetting body clocks in people with jet lag or shift workers.
The body’s clock is synchronized to light-dark changes and is important in regulating patterns of body temperature, brain activity, hormone production and other physiological processes.
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Research shows the biological clock is regulated by light[/caption]
Body clock disruption raises the risk of cancer, depression and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular ills.
Prof Mike Ludwig, at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Our results show a potentially new pharmacological route to manipulating biological clocks. Studies in the future that alter hormone signalling through the eye could lead to developing eye drops to get rid of jet lag.”
The findings give an insight into how the biological clock is regulated by light and could open up new therapeutic opportunities to help restore altered circadian rhythms through the eye.