Many studies have found significant disruptions in circadian rhythms in people with bipolar disorder. These rhythms affect sleep/wake activity, body temperature, and hormonal cycles. Changes to the sleep/wake cycle can precipitate manic and depressive episodes while stabilization of these rhythms is therapeutic. I will be discussing work from our lab aimed at better understanding the molecular mechanisms by which circadian genes and rhythms control mood in bipolar disorder and how synchronization of the circadian clock may lead to novel mood-stabilizing therapies.
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