Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Clocks and Bipolar Disorder

This is an interesting short review about the link between the circadian clock and the manic/depressive disorder:

Circadian Rhythms Factor in Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder

....even if circadian abnormalities are neither the sole nor
the primary cause of bipolar illness, it is possible that circadian
interventions can have therapeutic utility. Compared to psychotropic
medications, circadian interventions are relatively flexible therapeutic
modalities; they have a rapid onset and offset of action, and their clinical
effects may be altered by changing the time that they are administered. This
flexibility may be particularly useful in rapid-cycling bipolar patients, whose
frequent mood cycles may require rapid alterations in their therapeutic regimen.
Further research will indicate what, if any, role circadian dysfunction plays in
the pathogenesis of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and whether circadian
interventions can be helpful to these often treatment-resistant patients.
One thing they do not mention is that Lithium is one of the most effective drugs in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Lithium is also one of the very rare substances that is capable of altering properties of circadian rhythms (lengthening the period). If I remember correctly, a couple of years ago Eric Herzog and colleagues published a paper demonstrating that Lithium lengthens the period of the circadian rhythms of individual dispersed cells of the suprachisamatic nucleus in a dish. The work until then was all on effects of Lithium on rhythmicity of whole animals, thus various feedback loops between the clock and other brain areas could not be discounted.

Categories: Clock Tutorials


Blogger Coeruleus said...

links between the clock and bipolar disorder are becoming quite trendy these days. It's clearly a wide-open field and deserves more attention.

1:59 PM  

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