Scientists at Kyoto University have identified what they are calling a “reset button” in the brain’s body clock–and they hope to use this discovery to help ameliorate the symptoms of jetlag.
It has long been believed that an average traveler needs about one day to adjust to each hour of difference in a new time zone. But the Japanese researchers say they may be able to help people adjust in a matter of hours, not days.
Team lead Dr. Hitoshi Okamura has been seeking a jetlag cure for 30 years, and hopes the discovery from this preliminary study, conducted in mice, will work in humans, too. His team believes the key lies in suppressing vasopressin receptors. Since vasopressin plays an important role in kidney functions, any suppression techniques would have to be carefully tested so as not to disturb renal activities.