Is Sleepiness in Genes? Penn Medicine Study Shows Gene Variant Leaves Carriers Fatigued, Sleepier

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Media Contact:Kim Menard | kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-662-6183 October 26, 2010

Healthy sleepers who carry a specific gene variant are more likely to have disrupted sleep, according to University of Pennsylvania study published in the October 26, 2010 issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

After a series of nights with restricted sleep, 37 healthy adults who carry a specific gene variant found it harder to cope than 92 healthy non carriers, in terms of increased sleepiness and fatigue and more fragmented sleep. Since the gene is closely related to narcolepsy, in which some of these symptoms are observed (e.g., increased sleepiness and more fragmented sleep), it may be the gene that is causing these responses.

 

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