Obesity can cause sleep disorders by disrupting the biorhythm

The reason that obesity can cause sleep disorder has been mathematically determined by a research team made up of international and local staff.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, (KAIST), and Florida State University have announced that they have identified the mechanism by which cytoplasmic congestion from obesity disrupts the biorhythm.

The biological clock, also known as the ‘circadian rhythm’, tells our bodies to adjust our body temperature and blood pressure in order to regulate our sleep patterns.

The brain’s PER protein plays the role in controlling the circadian rhythm. It is constantly changing over 24 hours.

After 12 hours, the PER protein level decreases and then increases again. This occurs every 24 hours.

The idea is that PER proteins that have been stored in the protoplasm for more than 12 hours can enter the nucleus at once. This hinders the transcription of PER genes and reduces the amount of PER.

It was not clear how tens or hundreds of PER proteins could simultaneously enter the nucleus of a cell in a diverse environment. It remains a mystery to the academic community.

The team of researchers solved the mystery by creating a probabilistic and spatiotemporal model that describes the movement PER within a cell environment.

PER must be phosphorylated to enter the nucleus. For this to happen, PER proteins must be sufficiently grouped around the cell.

Obesity can cause cytoplasmic congestion, which hinders the movement PER proteins. The result is that PER proteins can enter the nucleus at irregular times, disrupting the circadian rhythm.

Kim Jae-kyoung (a professor at KAIST) said, “Our study revealed that diseases such as obesity, dementia, and aging can cause cytoplasmic congestion which can make the sleep cycle instabil.