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Circadian rhythms: Their role and dysfunction in affective disorder
Date:8/30/2010

orders, including depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), schizophrenia, and borderline-related disorders are commonly associated with abnormalities in circadian rhythms.

In particular, biological clocks play a major role in the pathophysiology of affective disorders. Synchronising impaired circadian rhythms, improving sleep, or paradoxically staying awake most of the night can be extremely helpful to treat patients with depression and bipolar disorder.

Chronotherapeutic combinations of light and wake therapy achieve fast results and, by reducing residual symptoms, also minimise relapse over many months. In addition, chronotherapeutics seem to be a major facilitator of drug response, and, in combination with antidepressants, a promising method to stabilise patients over the long term.

Researchers are working on extending our knowledge concerning pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical ways to alter circadian rhythms. Recent discoveries of molecular clocks responsible for the generation of circadian rhythms provide novel insights into temporal disruption, offering new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of affective disorders.


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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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