Scientists have discovered a special signal substance in the eyes. By manipulating that signal material they want to move our inner clock and prevent that we suffer from time differences.
Scientists want to develop eye drops that neutralize time differences.
Sleepless nights and days that seem way too long. Long journeys are sometimes difficult, especially if you suffer from jet lag.
But now there is hope. A team of scientists has made a discovery that can save travelers with sleeping problems.
The researchers came across a signal substance in the eye that can manipulate our inner clock. And they want to influence that signal substance with eye drops.
Hormone can be manipulated
The research, published in the Journal of Physiology, takes a closer look at laboratory rats. The biology of their eyes is strongly reminiscent of ours.
In the eyes they discovered the hormone vasopressin, also known as ADH. This is a signaling substance that mainly occurs in the nucleus suprachiasmaticus (SCN) - a group of special cells in the hypothalamus that control the inner biological clock.
The SCN responds to signals from the ganglion cells of the eyes. The lighter it is, the more awake you must be, the brain says. And thanks to the discovery that the ganglion cells of the eye contain vasopressin, jet lag could soon be a thing of the past.
Eye drops fool the brain
Now the scientists want to develop eye drops that can affect the amount of vasopressin in the eyes, and thereby the signals that the hormone sends to the SCN.
In this way the body is fooled and wakes up tired or on the contrary. That prevents jet lag.