Circadian Rhythm disruption associated with mood disorders

Laverne Higgins
May 17, 2018

The largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people, also linked interference with the body's "circadian rhythm" to a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and attention span.

This study is the first to objectively measure patterns of rest and activity (using accelerometers), and to have sufficient sample size to assess the effect of circadian disruption on various mental health disorders.

He said that a 10pm cut-off would give the average adult time to wind down before switching off the lights and going to sleep.

Daily circadian rhythms govern fundamental physiological and behavioural functions from body temperature to eating habits in nearly all organisms.

The results of the study revealed that the people who had a disrupted body clock were more likely to get the symptoms for major bipolar disorder and depression.

A lower circadian amplitude denotes less distinction, in terms of activity levels, between active and rest periods of the day.

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Messing with the natural rhythm of one's internal clock may boost the risk of developing mood problems ranging from garden-variety loneliness to severe depression and bipolar disorder, researchers said on Wednesday.

"Seventy-five per cent of [mental] disorders start before the age of 24 years", said University of Oxford researcher Aiden Doherty, commenting on the paper. "Hopefully, that will protect a lot of people from mood disorders". They occur in plants, animals and throughout biology, and are fundamental for maintaining health in humans, particularly mental health and wellbeing.

"Not using your phone late at night and having a regular pattern of sleeping is really important", Smith said. Those with lower relative amplitude were at greater risk of mental health problems regardless of age, sex, lifestyle, education and previous childhood trauma.

Regarding the research, he told: "The next step will be to identify the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental causes of circadian disruption interact to increase an individual's risk of depression and bipolar disorder".

"The circadian system changes throughout life". "My suspicion is that we might observe even more pronounced effects in younger samples, but that hasn't been done yet, to my knowledge".

WEDNESDAY, May 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Circadian disruption and lower relative amplitude are both associated with higher risk of susceptibility to mental health issues, according to a study published online May 15 in The Lancet Psychiatry. "And from my point of view as a psychiatrist, I think it's probably under-recognized in psychiatry how important healthy circadian function is, but it's an area that we're trying to develop".

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