Some zebrafish have a genetic disposition toward sleep problems just like some humans, according to researchers at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
A study published in the Oct. 16 issue of the Public Library of Science-Biology, tracked the behavior of fish kept awake at night by researchers. Fish lacking hypocretin receptors experienced something similar to insomnia when allowed to return to sleep, getting only half as much as zebrafish without the mutation.
Their sleep patterns were short and fragmented compared to the excessive sleepiness exhibited in mammals with a hypocretin mutation.
Future studies will search for fish that oversleep or lack sleep completely. The research team included Emmanuel Mignot, who is credited with discovering the genetic cause of narcolepsy in dogs.
Posted November 26, 2007, 8:30 a.m., EST