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Orexin A and orexin B are hypothalamic neuropeptides initially identified as endogenous ligands for two orphan G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). They play critical roles in the maintenance of wakefulness by regulating function of monoaminergic and cholinergic neurons that are implicated in the regulation of wakefulness. Loss of orexin neurons in humans is associated with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, further suggesting the particular importance of orexin in the maintenance of the wakefulness state. These findings have encouraged pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs targeting orexin receptors as novel medications of sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and insomnia. Indeed, phase III clinical trials were completed last year of suvorexant, a non-selective (dual) antagonist for orexin receptors, for the treatment of primary insomnia, and demonstrate promising results. The New Drug Application (NDA) for suvorexant has been submitted to the US FDA. Thus, the discovery of a critical role played by the orexin system in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness has opened the door of a new era for sleep medicine.
Department of Molecular Neuroscience and Integrative Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, 920-8640, Japan, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: CNS drugs
In this issue, Nagase and colleagues report the discovery of the first selective nonpeptidic orexin 2 receptor (OX2R) agonists. The discovery of these OX2R selective agonists opens up new avenues for ...
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Drugs that bind to but do not activate DOPAMINE RECEPTORS, thereby blocking the actions of dopamine or exogenous agonists. Many drugs used in the treatment of psychotic disorders (ANTIPSYCHOTIC AGENTS) are dopamine antagonists, although their therapeutic effects may be due to long-term adjustments of the brain rather than to the acute effects of blocking dopamine receptors. Dopamine antagonists have been used for several other clinical purposes including as ANTIEMETICS, in the treatment of Tourette syndrome, and for hiccup. Dopamine receptor blockade is associated with NEUROLEPTIC MALIGNANT SYNDROME.
Conditions characterized by disturbances of usual sleep patterns or behaviors. Sleep disorders may be divided into three major categories: DYSSOMNIAS (i.e. disorders characterized by insomnia or hypersomnia), PARASOMNIAS (abnormal sleep behaviors), and sleep disorders secondary to medical or psychiatric disorders. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)
Endogenous compounds and drugs that bind to and activate SEROTONIN RECEPTORS. Many serotonin receptor agonists are used as ANTIDEPRESSANTS; ANXIOLYTICS; and in the treatment of MIGRAINE DISORDERS.
Dyssomnias (i.e., insomnias or hypersomnias) associated with dysfunction of internal sleep mechanisms or secondary to a sleep-related medical disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, post-traumatic sleep disorders, etc.). (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)
Movements or behaviors associated with sleep, sleep stages, or partial arousals from sleep that may impair sleep maintenance. Parasomnias are generally divided into four groups: arousal disorders, sleep-wake transition disorders, parasomnias of REM sleep, and nonspecific parasomnias. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p191)
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