Secrets of the "Sleep Hormone": Discovery Leads to Novel Melatonin Drug With Potential to Treat Insomnia, McGill University Study

Published: Dec 21, 2011

A team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University has made a major breakthrough by unraveling the inner workings of melatonin, also known as the "sleep hormone." The research, conducted in collaboration with scientists in Italy, reveals the key role played by the melatonin receptor in the brain that promotes deep, restorative sleep. This discovery led the researchers to develop a novel drug called UCM765, which selectively activates this receptor. The results, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, may pave the way for the development of new and promising treatments for insomnia, a common public health problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

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