A new study of the brain’s master circadian clock — known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN — reveals that a key pattern of rhythmic neural activity begins to decline by middle age. The study, whose senior author is UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, may have implications for the large number of older people who have […]
Tag Archives | Circadian Rhythms
New research provides the best evidence to date that the late-day anxiety and agitation sometimes seen in older institutionalized adults, especially those with dementia, has a biological basis in the brain. The findings could help explain “sundowning” – a syndrome in which older adults show high levels of anxiety, agitation, general activity, and delirium in […]
Twenty-four hour cycles, known as circadian rhythms, are important for proper body functions, including for normal brain function and mental health. Disruptions of circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles have been observed in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. A new study by Douglas Institute researchers unravels a possible basis for these perturbations.
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud argued that modern society was hard on human psychology, forcing people to get along in unnaturally close quarters. Now newly published research from The Rockefeller University points out a different discontent in the developed world; namely, the disruption of our natural sleep cycles via the ubiquity of electric […]
Depression appears to be associated with a molecular-level disturbance in the body’s 24-hour clock, new research suggests. Scientists examined genes that regulate circadian rhythm in people with and without a history of depression. As a group, those with a history of depression had a higher level of activity of the so-called Clock gene, which has […]
All humans are synchronized to the rhythmic light-dark changes that occur on a daily basis. Rhythms in physiological and biochemical processes and behavioral patterns persist in the absence of all external 24-hour signals from the physical environment with a period that is close to 24 hours. These rhythms are referred to as ´circadian,´ from the […]
Circadian rhythmicity is regulated by circadian clock genes, and animal studies have shown that chronic drinking can alter expressions in these genes. A new study has found that significantly lower levels of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) – a molecule of RNA that helps to manufacture proteins – in circadian clock genes in alcohol-dependent (AD) patients […]