The latest study could lead to the permanent conquest of jet lag and insomnia. This would be a relief for mankind from these scourges.
The body’s internal clock can now be viewed with clarity and precision. The connecting links inside the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN have finally been caught in the form of a scan.
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This region of the brain allows everything to go as per schedule. It is basically a control mechanism for our internal clock which is based on the genes. These circadian rhythms control slumber timings and when we feel hungry or satiated.
Also insulin sensitivity, hormone levels, body heat and cellular cycles are governed by this region of the brain. Scientists have managed to find out how the neurons in the SCN connect up.
Once a thorough understanding of this takes place, such ailments as post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes could be eliminated with ease, according to DailyMail.
Among the factors responsible for poor sleep were the blue light from computer screens at night and a night shift that turned normal circadian rhythms topsy turvy. These can lead to unhealthy reactions in the body.
The problem is that the SCN is hard to study since the cells within it are “noisy” in their relay systems. There are over 20,000 neurons in the SCN. These neurons not only release their own signals but in turn hook up with other neurons to maintain homeostasis.
However, finally the scientists were able to cut through the crap and get to the actual signals sent by the cells. It was hard work though. The research was published in a journal.
The SCN basically looks like a replica of the brain. It lies in the hypothalamus. The SCN is dependent on light signals coming in through the eyes. These help it maintain stability of body rhythms.
When things are going well for the individual, the neurons pulsate in time with each other. Scientists experimented with the SCN using the poison glands from the puffer fish.
It was a complex series of maneuvers which they went through to look deep into its functionality. At the core of the SCN lies a couple of friendly neurons that help re-balance the whole nervous structure of this part of the brain.
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There were also thick clumps of connections in the overall scheme of things. The various neurons behaved like small individuals that maintained a network with the rest.