Cause of Insomnia Uncoveredadmin
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, around 1 in 3 people suffer from at least mild insomnia. While this same organization sites some of the common causes of insomnia as certain medications, stress, depression, and anxiety – just to name a few – some former studies have suggested that insomnia actually has a genetic component that has strong hereditary ties.
A new study has taken an even deeper dive into this theory and has officially “identified 956 gene variants that are associated with an increased risk of insomnia, as reported in the scientific journal Nature Genetics,” Tom Hale reported.
After studying the genetic data of over 1.3 million people, harvested from the genetic data banks UKBiobank and 23andMe, they not only identified these variants, but also discovered that some of these variable genes play an important role in the functionality of axons: the nerve fibers which conduct impulses from one cell body to other cells. Other variant genes were associated with activity in the frontal cortex and subcortical nuclei, which had previously been linked to chronic restless sleep.
“Our study shows the insomnia, like so many other neuropsychiatric disorders, is influenced by 100s of genes, each of small effect. These genes by themselves are not that interesting to look at. What counts is their combined effect on the risk of insomnia. We investigated that with a new method, which enabled us to identify specific types of brain cells,” Statistical Genetics professor Danielle Posthuma said in a statement.
“These findings are a breakthrough, since we can now for the first time start searching for underlying mechanisms in individual brain cells in the laboratory,” Guus Smit, study author and neurobiologist at the University of Amsterdam, added.