New research at Oregon State University (OSU) provides evidence that disruption of circadian rhythms can clearly cause accelerated neurodegeneration, loss of motor function, and premature death.
Prior to this, it wasn’t clear if the disruption of biological clock mechanisms was the cause or the result of neurodegeneration.
[ ... ]
The biological clock, in humans and many other animals, is a complex genetic mechanism tuned to the 24-hour day and regular cycles of light, dark and sleep. It influences a wide range of biological processes, from fertility to hormone production, feeding patterns, DNA repair, sleep, stress reactions, even the effectiveness of medications. In humans, researchers have found strong correlations between disrupted clock mechanisms, aging, and neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.