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jmcclain19
12-30-2007, 10:47 PM
DARPA - the research arm of the DoD - is apparently working on this.

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/12/sleep_deprivation

Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep

In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery's first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.

The treatment is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign," said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. "It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess."

Orexin A is a promising candidate to become a "sleep replacement" drug. For decades, stimulants have been used to combat sleepiness, but they can be addictive and often have side effects, including raising blood pressure or causing mood swings. The military, for example, administers amphetamines to pilots flying long distances, and has funded research into new drugs like the stimulant modafinil (.pdf) and orexin A in an effort to help troops stay awake with the fewest side effects.

The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.

The study, published in the Dec. 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans.

Siegel said that orexin A is unique in that it only had an impact on sleepy monkeys, not alert ones, and that it is "specific in reversing the effects of sleepiness" without other impacts on the brain.

Such a product could be widely desired by the more than 70 percent of Americans who the National Sleep Foundation estimates get less than the generally recommended eight hours of sleep per night (.pdf).

The research follows the discovery by Siegel that the absence of orexin A appears to cause narcolepsy. That finding pointed to a major role for the peptide's absence in causing sleepiness. It stood to reason that if the deficit of orexin A makes people sleepy, adding it back into the brain would reduce the effects, said Siegel.

"What we've been doing so far is increasing arousal without dealing with the underlying problem," he said. "If the underlying deficit is a loss of orexin, and it clearly is, then the best treatment would be orexin."

Dr. Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, said that while research into drugs for sleepiness is "very interesting," he cautioned that the long-term consequences of not sleeping were not well-known.

Both Twery and Siegel noted that it is unclear whether or not treating the brain chemistry behind sleepiness would alleviate the other problems associated with sleep deprivation.

"New research indicates that not getting enough sleep is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders," said Twery.

Still, Siegel said that Americans already recognize that sleepiness is a problem and have long treated it with a variety of stimulants.

"We have to realize that we are already living in a society where we are already self-medicating with caffeine," he said.

He also said that modafinil, which is marketed as Provigil by Cephalon and Alertec in Canada, has become widely used by healthy individuals for managing sleepiness.

"We have these other precedents, and it's not clear that you can't use orexin A temporarily to reduce sleep," said Siegel. "On the other hand, you'd have to be a fool to advocate taking this and reducing sleep as much as possible."

Sleep advocates probably won't have to worry about orexin A reaching drugstore shelves for many years. Any commercial treatment using the substance would need approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which can take more than a decade.

WMR
12-30-2007, 10:49 PM
There was a really good X-Files episode about this. Unfortunately, the soldiers ended up going insane and turning into bloodthirsty zombies.

Razor Shines
12-30-2007, 11:15 PM
There was a really good X-Files episode about this. Unfortunately, the soldiers ended up going insane and turning into bloodthirsty zombies.

Well as long as they list that as one of the possible side effects they should be safe from any lawsuits.

OldRightHander
12-30-2007, 11:45 PM
That could be useful in my line of work.

RedFanAlways1966
12-30-2007, 11:49 PM
I think Orexin A was used on monkeys years ago by some old hag. I always thought the "O" in O-E-O, ah-O, O was for Orexin.

http://www.gregalan.net/uploaded_images/FlyingMonkey-749124.jpg

MrCinatit
12-30-2007, 11:49 PM
Warning: May cause zombification. If zombification occurs, please consult a zombie physician*. Laboratory test have indicated that eating brains will not cure zombification. Symptoms for zombification include: dark rings around eyes, significant hair loss, absence of pulse, albino-like skin pigmentation, absence of soul, tattered cloths, and an enjoyment to elevator music. If you know someone who is a zombie, please consult a shot gun and aim for the head. The makers of Orexin A are not responsible for weight loss, loss of appetite, or a plague of the living dead wandering the Earth. Not to be taken rectally.

WMR
12-31-2007, 12:02 AM
Hahahaha, MrC that is good stuff.

Maybe add "Involuntary Moaning"

GoReds33
12-31-2007, 01:01 AM
I actually think this could be extremly valuable. I just hope it isn't something immediatly available to everyone. Things like this could easily be abused if in the wrong hands.

sonny
12-31-2007, 01:35 AM
Warning: May cause zombification. If zombification occurs, please consult a zombie physician*. Laboratory test have indicated that eating brains will not cure zombification. Symptoms for zombification include: dark rings around eyes, significant hair loss, absence of pulse, albino-like skin pigmentation, absence of soul, tattered cloths, and an enjoyment to elevator music. If you know someone who is a zombie, please consult a shot gun and aim for the head. The makers of Orexin A are not responsible for weight loss, loss of appetite, or a plague of the living dead wandering the Earth. Not to be taken rectally.

You forgot "You should not take Orexin if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant."

sonny
12-31-2007, 01:35 AM
I actually think this could be extremly valuable. I just hope it isn't something immediatly available to everyone. Things like this could easily be abused if in the wrong hands.

Thats what they said about Kryptonite.

Caveat Emperor
12-31-2007, 02:43 AM
I actually think this could be extremly valuable. I just hope it isn't something immediatly available to everyone. Things like this could easily be abused if in the wrong hands.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the workday would increase to 10+ hours. If you don't need to go home to prevent fatigue, there's no reason for them to let you leave at the end of the day.

KronoRed
12-31-2007, 02:51 AM
So glad stuff like this gets funding...pfft

BoydsOfSummer
12-31-2007, 03:31 AM
Will all new performance records have an asterisk*?

GAC
12-31-2007, 06:54 AM
A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests.

So how is a well rested monkey suppose to perform?

And did the monkeys administer the nasal spray themselves? That would be quite remarkable. :lol:


The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours

Isn't that against the Geneva Convention?

HumnHilghtFreel
12-31-2007, 07:05 AM
Sounds... awful.

At least to me. I love me some sleep at the end of a long day.

Yachtzee
12-31-2007, 10:41 AM
You can bet your bottom dollar that the workday would increase to 10+ hours. If you don't need to go home to prevent fatigue, there's no reason for them to let you leave at the end of the day.

Imagine what kind of billable hour requirements law firms could set for their associates. :eek:

GAC
12-31-2007, 10:52 AM
Scientists trying to eliminate the need for sleep.

My Gawd what's next? Are couches soon to become a thing of the past only to be seen at the Smithsonian?....

"Daddy what's that?
"It's called a couch baby."
"What was it for?"
"It provided a form of bliss for men on the weekends as we laid on it in a semi-conscious state."

This is worse then the government.

I say a woman is behind all this.

First it's the couch. Next is the NFL Network. ;)

RichRed
12-31-2007, 10:55 AM
You forgot "You should not take Orexin if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant."

"Do not taunt Orexin."

OldRightHander
12-31-2007, 11:17 AM
Yesterday I thought this would be a useful thing in my line of work, but now I'm not so sure. I guess the theory is that if you don't feel sleepy, you can drive more hours in a day and make more money, but what I can see happening is that the FMCSA would increase the hours of service for truckers and then the shippers and receivers would schedule their freight accordingly. You'd be given a 1500 mile run and expected to complete without a break, which wouldn't be good. I can tell you from experience that after so many hours behind the wheel, even if you're not sleepy, your body needs a break. Certain muscles get sore from being in that position too long. There is no replacement for a few hours in the sleeper bunk, or a couple hours out of the vehicle walking around for that matter. You might be able to address sleep needs, but how about muscle fatigue?

HumnHilghtFreel
12-31-2007, 11:23 AM
Yesterday I thought this would be a useful thing in my line of work, but now I'm not so sure. I guess the theory is that if you don't feel sleepy, you can drive more hours in a day and make more money, but what I can see happening is that the FMCSA would increase the hours of service for truckers and then the shippers and receivers would schedule their freight accordingly. You'd be given a 1500 mile run and expected to complete without a break, which wouldn't be good. I can tell you from experience that after so many hours behind the wheel, even if you're not sleepy, your body needs a break. Certain muscles get sore from being in that position too long. There is no replacement for a few hours in the sleeper bunk, or a couple hours out of the vehicle walking around for that matter. You might be able to address sleep needs, but how about muscle fatigue?

Exactly. You may not "feel tired" but your body still needs to recharge the ol' batteries.

WMR
12-31-2007, 01:12 PM
Not to mention the psychological needs that go along with giving your mind a break.

pahster
12-31-2007, 03:16 PM
Not to mention the psychological needs that go along with giving your mind a break.

A proper longitudinal study will tell us whether or not this and many other concerns about not sleeping (that sounds weird...) are justified.

WMR
12-31-2007, 03:18 PM
A proper longitudinal study will tell us whether or not this and many other concerns about not sleeping (that sounds weird...) are justified.

What about dreams? Dreams are extremely important to maintaining a healthy psyche. What would it do to a human to no longer have that outlet?

pahster
12-31-2007, 03:24 PM
What about dreams? Dreams are extremely important to maintaining a healthy psyche. What would it do to a human to no longer have that outlet?

I'm no psychologist, but I don't know that dreams are important. But that's certainly a question a longitudinal study would attempt to answer.

OldRightHander
12-31-2007, 03:35 PM
I don't know about the dream thing. I know a few people who claim they don't remember their dreams, but there is a lot to be said for just taking a break, mental and physical. For me, driving relaxes my mind to a certain degree. When I'm doing a long haul and there's something interesting on the radio, it's actually pretty relaxing. The physical fatigue is another thing though. There have been many times where I shut down after doing about 700 miles and I didn't even feel sleepy. Then I will get into the sleeper with every intention of reading for a while and I'll fall fast asleep with the book on my chest. Your body needs to shut down sometimes, no matter how sleepy you are or aren't.

remdog
12-31-2007, 08:11 PM
I thought this part of the article was the most interesting.:


The treatment is "a totally new route for increasing arousal....

While for someone of my age this could be a breakthrough ( ;) ), does this foreshadow the end to internet porn sites! :eek:

:lol:

Rem

MrCinatit
12-31-2007, 09:23 PM
I thought this part of the article was the most interesting.:



While for someone of my age this could be a breakthrough ( ;) ), does this foreshadow the end to internet porn sites! :eek:

:lol:

Rem


It could also increase their popularity. A lot.

GAC
01-01-2008, 06:52 AM
I thought this part of the article was the most interesting.:



While for someone of my age this could be a breakthrough ( ;) ), does this foreshadow the end to internet porn sites! :eek:

:lol:

Rem

I buy in when they come up with a nasal spray that helps me perform while I sleep! ;)

Yachtzee
01-01-2008, 10:05 AM
I buy in when they come up with a nasal spray that helps me perform while I sleep! ;)

Are you saying you'd like to conduct "business" outside normal "business hours?"

"Hey baby, it's 'Business Time' 24 hours 7 days a week." ;)

remdog
01-01-2008, 02:01 PM
I buy in when they come up with a nasal spray that helps me perform while I sleep! ;)

In your dreams.....so to speak. ;)

Rem

RBA
01-01-2008, 03:06 PM
I could see casinos in Vegas handing these out like candy.

Yachtzee
01-01-2008, 03:17 PM
I could see casinos in Vegas handing these out like candy.

Why would they hand them out, when they can just pump it through the vents with all that oxygen? :)

GAC
01-01-2008, 10:07 PM
Are you saying you'd like to conduct "business" outside normal "business hours?"

"Hey baby, it's 'Business Time' 24 hours 7 days a week." ;)


There 's nothing like waking up feeling you've been violated by the wife, yet at the same time restful and ready for the day. You killed two birds with one stone so to speak. ;)