London: Scientists believe they may found the reason as to why the many elderly people have to get up in the middle of the night to answer to the call of nature -- protein in the body tricks brain into thinking bladder is full.
A team from Kyoto University in Japan has found deficient levels of protein, called connexin43, trick the bladder into believing that it is full which sends a "must urinate" warning to the brain, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Connexin43 is part of a group of proteins that affected people`s circadian rhythm, the mechanism by which the body processes crank up during daylight hours and slow down at night.
During sound sleep, a healthy person produces a smaller volume of urine from the kidneys than during daytime. At the same time, more urine is stored during sleep than during the active, daylight phase.
But when there are lower levels of connexin43, the smooth muscles of the bladder become oversensitised to nerve signals that give a feeling of fullness, the scientists have claimed in the `Nature Communications` journal.
The scientists, led by Osamu Ogawa, made the discovery when studying mice that had been genetically modified to lack the gene that makes connexin43.
The finding could lead to a potential pill to ensure a full night`s sleep -- without any unfortunate interruptions.