Navigation Links
Disruption of biological clocks causes neurodegeneration, early death

CORVALLIS, Ore. New research at Oregon State University provides evidence for the first time that disruption of circadian rhythms the biological "clocks" found in many animals can clearly cause accelerated neurodegeneration, loss of motor function and premature death.

The study was published in Neurobiology of Disease and done by researchers at OSU and Oregon Health and Science University. Prior to this, it wasn't clear which came first - whether the disruption of biological clock mechanisms was the cause or the result of neurodegeneration.

"In these experiments, we showed through both environmental and genetic approaches that disrupting the biological clock accelerated these health problems," said Kuntol Rakshit, an OSU graduate fellow.

"There's a great deal of interest right now in studies on circadian rhythms, as we learn more about the range of problems that can result when they are disrupted," Rakshit said. "Ultimately we hope that this research will be taken from the laboratory to the bedside."

These studies were done with fruit flies, but the OSU scientists said previous research has indicated there are close parallels between them and humans. Some of the genes regulating circadian rhythms in flies are so important that they have been preserved through millions of years of separate evolution and still do the same thing in humans.

The biological clock, in humans and many other animals, is a complex genetic mechanism tuned to the 24-hour day and regular cycles of light, dark and sleep. It influences a wide range of biological processes, from fertility to hormone production, feeding patterns, DNA repair, sleep, stress reactions, even the effectiveness of medications. In humans, researchers have found strong correlations between disrupted clock mechanisms, aging, and neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.

The fruit flies used in this research carried two mutations, one that disrupts circadian rhythms and another that causes flies to develop brain pathologies during aging. These double mutants had a 32-50 percent shorter lifespan, lost much of their motor function, and developed significant "vacuoles" or holes in their brains far sooner than flies with a functional clock.

The decline and loss of clock function may be just the beginning of a damaging, circular process, said Jadwiga Giebultowicz, an OSU professor of zoology, member of the OSU Center for Healthy Aging Research and project leader.

"When the biological clock begins to fail, rhythms that regulate cell function and health get disrupted, and we now know that this predisposes the brain to neurodegeneration," Giebultowicz said. "But that neurodegeneration, in turn, may cause more damage to the clock function.

"A healthy biological clock helps protect against this damage," she said. "When the clock fails, the damage processes speed up."

Aging is closely associated with this process, Giebultowicz said, but it's not clear exactly how. Molecular clock oscillations decline during aging. Finding ways to restore them might form a possible therapy for biological clock damage and help to prevent disease, and work in that area will be part of future research.


Contact: Jadwiga Giebultowicz
Oregon State University

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers observe disruptions of daily rhythms in Alzheimers patients brains
2. Disruption of nerve cell supply chain may contribute to Parkinsons
3. Debt ceiling agreement essential to prevent disruption of care for Medicare & Medicaid patients
4. Penn team links schizophrenia genetics to disruption in how brain processes sound
5. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
6. Biological clock could be a key to better health, longer life
7. New method to grow arteries could lead to biological bypass for heart disease
8. U of T researchers crack splicing code, solve a mystery underlying biological complexity
9. Adolescent brains biologically wired to engage in risky behavior, study finds
10. Length of biological marker associated with risk of cancer
11. Ticking biological clock increases womens libido, new research shows
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss ... author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten ... the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the ... today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. ... To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present ... the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los Angeles ... to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles written ... known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says “I ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for ... the first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. ... by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points ... ... ...
(Date:9/12/2017)...  ValGenesis Inc., the global leader in Enterprise ... announce the appointment of Dr. Ajaz Hussain ... Directors and Chairman of Advisory Board beginning September ... to manage their entire validation lifecycle process electronically ... process. Furthermore, ValGenesis VLMS enables rigorous compliance, helps ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... Sept. 8, 2017 Dealmed Medical Supplies, ... of medical equipment, supplies, drugs, vaccines, and specialty medical ... into an agreement to acquire Vantage Medical Supplies, a ... Holtsville, New York . ... new and emerging medical practices, will operate under the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: