Disrupted circadian rhythms linked to later Parkinson’s diagnoses

Home / Disrupted circadian rhythms linked to later Parkinson’s diagnoses

Older men who have a weak or irregular circadian rhythm guiding their daily cycles of rest and activity are more likely to later develop Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study by scientists at the UC San Francisco Weill Institute for Neurosciences who analyzed 11 years of data for nearly 3,000 independently living older men.

The scientists said their discovery of the link between circadian rhythms and Parkinson’s — a disease characterized by loss of control over movement, balance and other brain functions — suggests these circadian disruptions may reflect neurodegenerative disease processes already affecting the brain’s internal clock well before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and that they could be considered an early warning sign of the disease.

“The strength of the circadian rhythm activity seems to have a really important effect on health and disease, particularly in aging. In this latest study we found that even small changes in circadian rhythm in older men were associated with a greater likelihood of getting Parkinson’s down the line,” said study senior author Kristine Yaffe, MD, the Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology and biostatistics, and a member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

Full article at Science Daily

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