A growing body of evidence indicates that one of theage-associated changes in the central nervous systemthat affect most old people is the loss of functionof the circadian clock system. This loss results inimpaired timing and quality of sleep, with consequentcognitive and other behavior problems. Failure of theclock contributes to the difficulties encountered withAlzheimer's disease. It also results in adversechanges in the hormonal regulation of intermediarymetabolism, stress resistance and sexual function.Drosophila melanogaster is proposed as a modelorganism where this age-related change may be studiedmore readily. Circadian patterns are disrupted inDrosophila, with considerable differences betweenstrains. In addition a fusion gene product of a keygene involved in the clock (per), and GreenFluorescent Protein, shows a 50% fall with age.
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