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Drug may help insomniacs over age 55

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A new drug improves sleep and daytime vigilance, helping to re-organize the circadian system, the body's internal clock, an Israeli scientist said.

Nava Zisapel, a chemist and neurobiologist at Tel Aviv University developed Circadin, which she says helps re-organize the body's internal clock.

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The circadian system regulates cell regeneration and other biological activities. Circadin mimics the hormone melatonin -- not only a powerful anti-oxidant protecting DNA but a key player in the regulation of the circadian system.

The drug has a profound effect on the blind who don't see light -- a trigger that synchronizes the body's internal clock, Zisapel said.

In people age 55 and older -- night-time levels of blood pressure and blood sugar were normalized in those using Circadin during clinical trials of the drug conducted in Europe and the United States.

Zisapel researcher is published in the Journal of Sleep Research and are reviewed in Aging Health.

Circadin, currently available in Europe, is expected to be in the United States by next year, Zisapel said.

Zisapel is the chief scientific officer of Neurim Pharmaceuticals, a company commercializing the technology and licensing of drugs from Ramot, the technology transfer arm of Tel Aviv University.

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