Insomnia can be in your genes: here is everything you need to know



Insomnia may be in your genes: here is everything you need to know & nbsp | & nbspCredit with photo: & nbspThinkstock

New York: Finding it hard to sleep at night? In that case, blame their genes, say researchers, who identified 57 genes associated with insomnia symptoms, affecting 10 to 20 percent of people worldwide.

"Our findings confirm a role for genetics in insomnia symptoms and expand the four gene loci found previously for this condition," said lead author Jacqueline M. Lane of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). "All of these identified regions help us understand why some people have insomnia, which pathways and systems are affected, and point to possible new therapeutic targets."

The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, has associated 57 gene sites with self-reported insomnia, associations that were not affected by known risk factors such as lifestyle, caffeine consumption, depression or recent stress.

Instead, identified genomic regions include genes involved in ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis – a process by which proteins are labeled for destruction – and those expressed in various regions of the brain, skeletal muscles, and adrenal glands, the researchers note.

The team also found evidence that increased insomnia symptoms nearly doubled the risk of coronary artery disease. They were also linked to symptoms of depression and a reduced sense of well-being.

"Insomnia has a really significant impact on millions of people around the world." We have long known that there is a link between insomnia and chronic illnesses.Now, our findings suggest that depression and heart disease are the result of persistent insomnia, said Samuel Jones. University of Exeter in the UK.

For the study, the team analyzed data from more than 4.5 lakh participants, 29 percent of whom reported frequent symptoms of insomnia.


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