New linkages between insomnia and genetic coding have been found, suggesting that people suffering from long-term sleep problems may be affected by their genes, particularly the 7 genes detected, which have already been linked With chronic sleep disorders, such as anxiety, depression, among others.
According to researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, this incredible discovery could be the starting point for the development of new types of treatments for the condition and to understand why it affects us.
Normally, insomnia is reported to be a psychological complication, which won’t let those affected to sleep, but this new research shows that there are more reasons for the condition, including a genetic predisposition.
The team analyzed about 110,000 individuals to identify the 7 genes using a technique that consists of analyzing large amounts of genetic data together, in order to detect patterns that may represent traits, and in this study, these genes were linked to insomnia due to the fact that most of the people in whom they were found, suffer from the condition.
These genes are responsible for some important biological processes, such as the production of RNA through DNA, and the way the cells communicate with their surrounding environment. One of the genes had previously been detected as being linked to two other sleep disorders, named MEIS1, is linked to sleep limb motions (PLMS) and restless legs syndrome (RLS).
Some gender-dependent genetic variations in insomnia have also been detected, demonstrating that some biological mechanisms that create these disorders may vary between men and women.
About 10 to 22 percent of the world’s adult population suffers from insomnia, but the cause has never been detected, and although there is a clear contribution of heavy late meals, stress and lack of a sleep pattern, it has already been linked to mental illness, and researchers believe there may be some link between these health problems.
Although this is yet another step towards discovering the main cause for the condition, there is still a lot of work to be done, but we know that with the development of our understanding of it, we can expect better and more efficient treatments in the near future.