LIFESTYLE

Treatment For Flu: Protein Discovery Means A Nasal Spray Could Be Developed

13/01/2015 13:45 GMT | Updated 13/01/2015 13:59 GMT

If you're feeling snotty, achey and downright miserable, chances are high that you have the flu.

Up until now, the only treatment for flu has been paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease symptoms, but scientists may have now discovered a more effective solution.

Researchers at Washington State University have discovered that a brain protein - called AcPb - boosts the healing power of sleep and can help to fight off flu.

They are now looking into ways to stimulate AcPb production in the body.

flu in bed

In a study of mice, the researchers found that those lacking the gene for the AcPb protein slept less after being infected with the influenza flew virus.

The mice with the AcPB protein present slept more, and were less likely to display symptoms or even die than their tired-out counterparts.

In short, mice with the gene for AcPB protein were able to literally "sleep themselves better", but those without it were not.

The Washington scientists say that a nasal spray to help the body stimulate the protein could potentially be used as a treatment for flu in the future.

While flu means an annoying few days in bed for most of us, the illness can cause some - especially the elderly - to develop serious complications such as chest infections.

According to the NHS, about 600 people a year die from a complication of seasonal flu in the UK each year.

After previous research suggested wearing wet socks to bed is the best alternative to paracetamol when fighting flu, we can't wait for the nasal spray to hit shelves.

The Washington State University research was published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.

H/T: The Telegraph

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