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Scientists have learned that circadian rhythm disturbance is a common symptom for most mental disorders

Scientists have learned that circadian rhythm disturbance is a common symptom for most mental disorders

Frame from the movie "Girl, Interrupted"

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of American neuroscientists, pharmacists, and computer scientists found that anxiety, autism, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, and most other mental disorders, although they have their own characteristics, they all have in common a disruption in the circadian rhythm.

Circadian rhythms, or cyclic fluctuations in the intensity of various biological processes, are associated with the change of day and night.

Not only humans and other animals have a biological clock , but even plants, fungi, and cyanobacteria. Circadian rhythms play a fundamental role in all biological systems at all levels, from molecules to populations.

Scientists from the University of California (USA) have suggested that such rhythms may be a common symptom for many mental disorders. And, it seems, they managed to find evidence of this. The researchers presented their findings in the journal Nature Translational Psychiatry.

An analysis of the peer-reviewed literature conducted by the authors of the work showed that a clear sign of circadian rhythm disturbances – namely, sleep problems – was present in every mental disorder they considered.

For example, a malfunction in the biological clock has been observed in autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and Tourette’s syndrome, and probably also in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and other eating disorders.

Addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, disruption of the biological clock, as scientists have found, is associated with aging.

But what is the connection between the above mental disorders and a malfunction in the biological clock? In other words, can this failure be called one of the causes of the development of such diseases or only a consequence?

While the researchers do not know. To answer this and other questions, they want to study circadian rhythm disorders at the molecular level using transcriptomic and metabolomic technologies in mice.


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