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Eat, sleep, lose weight

Researchers at Merck & Co. Inc.may have found a way to tackle obesity by antagonizing T-type calcium channels, which are involved in sleep regulation. In rodents, the approach reduced diet-induced weight gain and increased lean muscle.1 However, potential side effects need to be assessed, given the channels' central role in brain function.

T-type calcium channels in the brain play a role in modulating the sleep and wake cycle.2 Past studies have linked disruption of normal sleep and wake patterns to increased risks of pathological weight gain and metabolic diseases.3,4 High-fat diets have also been shown to disrupt normal sleeping patterns.5,6

Bringing together these observations, the

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