The award recognizes Ling Shan’s research on the effects of opiate use on narcolepsy.
During the recent 11th Virtual European Narcolepsy Day on 5 September 2020, Ling Shan from the Swaab Lab received the Young Scientists Award 2020 from the European Narcolepsy Network (EU-NN). The EU-NN aims to facilitate clinical and scientific progress in the field of narcolepsy and other hypersomnias of central origin.
His research project is a part of successful long term collaboration between Prof. Swaab from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Prof. Gert Jan Lammers and Dr. Rolf Fronczek from the Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Neurology, Leiden and Sleep Wake Centre SEIN, Heemstede.
Shan’s research shows that long-term use of opiate drugs may increase the number of hypothalamic hypocretin/orexin cells and might ameliorate certain symptoms of narcolepsy, such as cataplexy. He also published a review in which he summarizes the neuropathological changes to the histamine and hypocretin systems in narcolepsy and discusses the possibility that narcolepsy-associated histamine abnormalities.
For Ling Shan, it’s the first award for his research on narcolepsy. He previously received the young Investigator award from the Brain and Behavior Foundation and the 1st prize of the young investigator award from the European Histamine Research Society.