Jet lag may be good for your brain

While jet lag may be one of the more annoying facets of overseas travel, it could actually be good for your brain. At least that’s what researchers at America’s Northwestern University would have you believe.

University scientists recently conducted a study in which they induced jet lag in a fruit fly model of Huntington’s disease.

“We essentially gave the flies jet lag for every day of their lives,” said lead researcher and circadian rhythm expert Dr Ravi Allada.

“It’s like traveling four hours east every day.”

The neurons that dictate sleep–wake cycles of fruit flies are evidently very close to those of humans, says Dr Allada, and the study revealed that jet lag actually protected the flies’ neurons.

“It seems counterintuitive, but we showed that a little bit of stress is good,” Dr Allada remarked.

Researchers say the findings reveal a potential new treatment to slow the progression of or prevent neurodegenerative diseases.


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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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