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New research suggests there may be a link between sleep deprivation and several mental health disorders.
These mental disorders include anxiety, Tourette syndrome and autism, researchers said, according to a University of California, Irvine (UCI) press release released earlier this month.
UCI scientists hypothesize that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) is a common ‘psychopathological factor’ in a variety of mental illnesses.
Studying the ‘molecular basis’ of CRD could be important to unlocking better treatments for these mental disorders, scientists say.
A study on the relationship between sleep and psychiatric disorders was recently published in Translational Psychology.
“Circadian rhythms play a fundamental role in all biological systems at all scales, from molecules to populations,” said Professor of Computer Science at UCI and Director of the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics at UCI. Director and senior author Pierre Bardi said in a UCI press release.
“In our analysis, circadian rhythm disruption was found to be a broadly overlapping factor in the gamut of mental health disorders.
By carefully examining the peer-reviewed literature on the most common mental health disorders, UCI researchers found significant evidence of a relationship between sleep disorders and these disorders, according to a press release.
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“Clear indications of circadian rhythm disruption, a sleep-related problem, were present in each disorder,” said lead author Amal Alachkar, a neuroscientist and professor in the UCI’s Department of Pharmacy. stated in the release.
“While we focused on well-known conditions such as autism, ADHD, and bipolar disorder, the CRD psychopathological factor hypothesis is also useful for other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia. They claim it can be generalized to mental health issues: neurosis, food addiction, Parkinson’s disease.”
“In our analysis, circadian rhythm disruption was found to be a broadly overlapping factor in the gamut of mental health disorders.”
According to Healthline.com, a circadian rhythm is the pattern of sleep and wakefulness experienced by an individual over the course of a 24-hour day.
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It helps control the daily schedule of sleep and wakefulness, and most organisms have it, they added.
“Maintaining healthy habits can help your body respond better to this natural rhythm,” says the publication.
One Washington, DC-area mother and grandmother said good sleep habits started early on can also benefit their general health and mental outlook.
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“There are parents today who let their children choose their bedtime, but I didn’t think it was a good idea,” she told Fox News Digital. It’s about starting healthy sleep patterns when your child is young.”
UCI researchers also shared more information about circadian rhythms.
“Circadian rhythms are inherently sensitive to light and dark cues,” says a press release about the new study. .”
“One example is the hormonal response to CRD experienced by pregnant women. Both mother and fetus can experience the clinical effects of CRD and chronic stress.”
Scientists also believe that age is an important factor. CRD may influence the development of age-related psychiatric disorders in the elderly.
“An interesting issue we investigated is the interaction between circadian rhythms, psychiatric disorders and sex,” Baldi said. “For example, Tourette’s syndrome affects mostly men, and Alzheimer’s disease is about two-thirds to one-third more common in women.”
Scientists also believe age is an important factor. CRD may influence the development of age-related mental disorders in older people, his UCI team noted.
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Alachar also addressed the challenges of testing the team’s hypotheses “at the cellular level” in releases.
According to the release, a UCI-led team proposes testing CRD using “transcriptome (gene expression) and metabolomics techniques in mouse models.”
“This will be a high-throughput process in which researchers obtain samples from healthy and diseased subjects every few hours along the circadian cycle,” Baldi said in a press release.
“This approach has limited applicability in humans, as only serum samples can be used in practice, but in animal models, particularly mice, tissue can be sampled from different brain regions and different organs. allows it to be applied on a large scale.In addition to serum.”
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If the experiments were conducted in a “systematic manner with respect to age, sex and brain regions” and investigated circadian molecular rhythms before and during disease progression, the mental health research community could identify potential biomarkers, causal relationships, and and help identify new treatments…goals and means,” he pointed out.