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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