Disrupted body clocks linked to depression

15 May 2013

Depressed people may have a broken body clock, a new study has suggested. Disrupted circadian rhythm - natural body cycles that govern all bodily functions - have now been linked with chemical imbalances that trigger depression and mood swings.

The groundbreaking research has been published in the medical journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’. Lead author, Dr Jun Li, and his team of experts examined 12,000 gene transcripts. They found that gene activity cycles in depressed people seemed to be vastly different than that of individuals without mood disorders. Their natural body clocks were so out-of-whack that Dr Li said that it was “as if they were living in a different time zone”.

Symptoms associated with disrupted circadian rhythms include fatigue, poor sleep and lack of appetite. When biological activities are thrown off, depression symptoms may be exacerbated. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and apathy may become more severe.

If you’re suffering from disrupted sleep or an off-kilter body clock, one-off assessments can help determine the root of the problem. A genetic test can help pinpoint whether depression or a number of other genealogical disorders may be disrupting your circadian rhythm.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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