It takes time, but the scientific investigation progress in all areas. today a French researcher was notably rewarded for having largely discovered the origin of a weird illness but particularly disabling, and thus pave the way for possible deals.
a belated reward
Narcolepsy is a disease characterized by a sleep disorder, causing excessive and sudden sleepiness that can occur at any time of the day. It can also be synonymous with weakness – or even paralysis – of the muscles, which is called cataplexy. Many questions remain unanswered today around narcolepsy, but research is slowly making headway.
In 1999, it was Doctor Emmanuel Mignot, sleep researcher and director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Stanford University, who made great strides in research simply by finding the origin of the disease. If this discovery dates back more than 20 years, It is only since this Thursday, September 22, 2022 that the life work carried out by Emmanuel Mingot is officially recognized, since it has an “award in life sciences” (and $3 million, anyway) from the latest edition of the Breakthrough Awards, which reward significant “breakthroughs” in the scientific field.
A duo that revolutionized narcolepsy research
It was together with the Japanese Masashi Yanagisawa that Dr. Emmanuel Mignot was awarded yesterday for having discovered the origin of narcolepsy, the two men had conducted investigations in parallel but without communicating with each other. Both, however, came to the same conclusion, namely thata receptor on the brain cells of narcoleptics is abnormal and does not react without the correct molecule (orexin, a neurotransmitter discovered by Yanagisawa), just like a lock doesn’t open without the right key.
To reach this conclusion, Mignot first studied narcoleptic dogs for a decade, before moving on to human testing. whose early orexin was always at 0 in the brains of patients with narcolepsy. From there, the solution was found: develop drugs that mimic the effects of orexin and with which to treat narcoleptics! These drugs have already proven their effectiveness, now all that remains is to perfect them so that they adapt to each patient.