Researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan, have discovered a gene involved in narcolepsy, a symptom that makes people feel sleepy during the day, reduced vision and impaired muscles weak.
This study is based on the analysis of the genome or DNA of 222 Japanese with symptoms of sleepiness and 389 others without symptoms.
Professor Katsushi Tokunaga of the University of Tokyo's Human General Research Department says 45% of people with daytime sleepiness have a different gene than those without it.
This new gene is placed between the genes CPT1B and CHKB. Both of these genes can lead to confusion and difficulty in living. The CPT1B gene controls an enzyme that regulates sleep, the time of sleep, while the CHKB gene can cause sleeplessness.
The top researchers conducted a deeper experiment based on 424 Koreans, 785 Europeans and 184 Americans. This result shows that Koreans have a higher rate of daytime sleep than Europeans and Americans.
However, Professor Tokunaga said that the results of this study did not explain why Japanese and Korean people often suffer from sleepless days. But he also said that by identifying the new gene, scientists will continue to research to find ways to treat daytime sleepiness.