New Discovery About Blink Rates

A study by English and Spanish researchers published in Nature Communications sheds new light on the mechanisms that control the blink rate.

The study found that the TRPM8 receptor, a protein which is activated by cold or chemicals that cause a cooling sensation such as menthol, is also responsible for regulating basal blinking rates in mice. The link between TRPM8 and ocular wetness was first proposed by the same research team in a 2010 paper in Nature Medicine.

In sufferers of dry eye, an increased salt concentration in tears can lead to elevated blinking rates and a decrease in the volume of the tear film, and understanding the receptors controlling blink rates could lead to new treatments combatting dry eye.

Further information: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150522/ncomms8150/full/ncomms8150.html

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