Monday, January 16, 2012

Sleeping without orexin

Orexin is a new hot target in the world of anti-insomnia medication. In this paper, the effects of a dual orexin antagonist is compare with the more common hypnotic Zolpidem. It would seem that ORX antagonism is a "more physiological" approach to sleep-inducing drugs, but still all the possible side effects of an orexinergic blockade (iatrogenic narcolepsy, metabolci syndrome and so on)have to be considered.

Differential Effects of a Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist (SB-649868) and Zolpidem on Sleep Initiation and Consolidation, SWS, REM Sleep, and EEG Power Spectra in a Model of Situational Insomnia.:

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Jan 11;

Authors: Bettica P, Squassante L, Groeger JA, Gennery B, Winsky-Sommerer R, Dijk DJ

Orexins have a role in sleep regulation, and orexin receptor antagonists are under development for the treatment of insomnia. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover study to investigate the effect of single doses of the dual orexin receptor antagonist SB-649868 (10 or 30 mg) and a positive control zolpidem (10 mg), an allosteric modulator of GABA(A) receptors. Objective and subjective sleep parameters and next-day performance were assessed in 51 healthy male volunteers in a traffic noise model of situational insomnia. Compared with placebo, SB-649868 10 and 30 mg increased total sleep time (TST) by 17 and 31 min (p<0.001), whereas after zolpidem TST was increased by 11.0 min (p=0.012). Wake after sleep onset was reduced significantly by 14.7 min for the SB-6489698 30 mg dose (p<0.001). Latency to persistent sleep was significantly reduced after both doses of SB-6489698 (p=0.003), but not after zolpidem. Slow wave sleep (SWS) and electroencephalogram (EEG) power spectra in non-REM sleep were not affected by either dose of SB-640868, whereas SWS (p< 0.001) and low delta activity (<=1.0 Hz) were increased, and 2.25-11.0 Hz activity decreased after zolpidem. REM sleep duration was increased after SB-649868 30 mg (p=0.002) and reduced after zolpidem (p=0.049). Latency to REM sleep was reduced by 20.1 (p=0.034) and 34.0 min (p<0.001) after 10 and 30 mg of SB-649868. Sleep-onset REM episodes were observed. SB-649868 was well tolerated. This dual orexin receptor antagonist exerts hypnotic activity, with effects on sleep structure and the EEG that are different from those of zolpidem.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 11 January 2012; doi:10.1038/npp.2011.310.

PMID: 22237311 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]