Don’t sleep on the hypnotic potential of thalidomide
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba demonstrate that the hypnotic and teratogenic effects of thalidomide are separable. Thalidomide is a medication with several different effects, one of which is promoting sleep in the context of insomnia. In a new study, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have discovered that thalidomide exerts its hypnotic effects through mechanisms distinct from those for the drug’s notorious teratogenicity. These are striking results showing how thalidomide induces sleep independently of its known effects on the teratogenic cereblon pathway. These findings could be helpful in developing novel thalidomide-like hypnotic drugs without thalidomide’s teratogenic effects. The study was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.