|Another cool "stick and ball" model of glycine.|
Neurotransmitters Could Solve Serious Sleep Disorders
Posted by ThirdAge Staff on July 12, 2012
Researchers have discovered that two neurotransmitters work together in the brain to block dangerous muscle movements during sleep—and the finding could lead to improved treatment of serious conditions like REM sleep disorder.
Until now, experts in sleep disorders have believed that only one of those neurotransmitters, glycine, controlled the body’s muscle movements during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. But the latest study, conducted at the University of Toronto with rats as subjects, found that
another one, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), worked in tandem with glycine to paralyze muscles during REM sleep. Without such paralysis, patients suffering from some sleep disorders might, for example, walk without waking up.
Dennis McGinty, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist at the Universiy of California, Los Angeles, who isn’t associated with the research, said in a statement: “By identifying the neurotransmitters and receptors involved in sleep-related paralysis, this study points us to possible… treatments for sleep-related motor disorders, which can often be debilitating.”
Researcher John H. Peever, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, said the discovery was especially important as an indicator of how to treat REM sleep disorder, in which a patient acts out his or her dream while it’s going on.
Up to 80 percent of people with that illness go on to develop a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s, and knowing how to effectively treat or reverse the earlier disorder might prevent the development of the more serious illness.
From yee Wiki:
"Glycine (abbreviated as Gly or G) is an organic compound with the formula NH2CH2COOH. Having a hydrogen substituent as its side-chain, glycine is the smallest of the 20 amino acids commonly found in proteins. Its codons are GGU, GGC, GGA, GGG cf. the genetic code.
Glycine is a colourless, sweet-tasting crystalline solid. It is unique among the proteinogenic amino acids in that it is not chiral. It can fit into hydrophilic or hydrophobic environments, due to its two hydrogen atom side chain.
As a neurotransmitter
Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, especially in the spinal cord, brainstem, and retina. When glycine receptors are activated, chloride enters the neuron via ionotropic receptors, causing an Inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). Strychnine is a strong antagonist at ionotropic glycine receptors, whereas bicuculline is a weak one. Glycine is a required co-agonist along with glutamate for NMDA receptors. In contrast to the inhibitory role of glycine in the spinal cord, this behaviour is facilitated at the (NMDA) glutaminergic receptors which are excitatory. The LD50 of glycine is 7930 mg/kg in rats (oral), and it usually causes death by hyperexcitability.
There is some evidence showing that 3000 milligrams of glycine before bedtime improves sleep quality.
|Make sure you ask your physician before you try it. I'm going to ask mine at the next appointment.|