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Oleamide is an endogenous amide of the fatty acid oleic acid. It accumulates in the cerebrospinal fluid during sleep deprivation and induces sleep in animals. It is being studied as a potential medical treatment for sleep disorders. Additionally, inhibitors of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down oleamide, lead to raised levels of oleamide, inducing sleep.
Additional recommended knowledge
The mechanism of action of oleamide's sleep inducing effects is an area of current research. It is likely that oleamide interacts with multiple neurotransmitter systems. While structurally related to the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, the ability of oleamide to bind the cannabinoid receptor CB1 is controversial.  It is likely that the hypnotic effects of oleamide are caused by elevated endocannabinoid signaling rather than direct interaction of oleamide and cannabinoid receptors.
Oleamide was discovered and characterized by Benjamin Cravatt III and Richard Lerner at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oleamide". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|