The Implications of Desynchronized Circadian Rhythms in Human Mental Health and Susceptibility in the Aging Population
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The organization of the mammalian circadian system relies on temporal order between behavioural and physiological rhythms that are critical to the normal functioning of the body and human health. The ...
The organization of the mammalian circadian system relies on temporal order between behavioural and physiological rhythms that are critical to the normal functioning of the body and human health. The hypothesis proposed is that a disruption in the sleep-wake cycle reflects impaired circadian clock functioning, which synergistically leads to the progression and maintenance of a variety of psychiatric disorders. The aging population is most susceptible to the depletion of chronobiological rhythms and sleep deficits, and thus, the development of psychiatric disorders in the elderly warrants attention. By evaluating previous and current literature, it was found that internal temporal disorder in humans may result from both internal and external factors that disrupt the coordinated symphony of the SCN and peripheral oscillators. Sleep disorders and neuropsychiatric illnesses transpire as a result of this chronodisruption. Evidence suggests that sleep disturbances are a causal factor of psychiatric illness, rather than being mere complications. It is proposed that senescence not only predisposes the elderly to chronodisruption and sleep deficits, but also increases their risk for developing frequently comorbid psychiatric illnesses. Increasing public awareness of the multitude of strategies available for harmonious synchronization and optimal well-being are profitable to the elderly in preventing circadian malfunction.
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