Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Thursday July 20, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

The Sleep-Depression Connection

 

continued

"People were used to thinking about psychological states as something really different from our body," says Huda Akil, co-director of the U-M's Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium. "The more we study the biology of depression, the more we see they're really closely intertwined."

Akil and other U-M researchers are uncovering the links between depression and circadian rhythms, the biological clocks that make most people energetic in mid-morning, hungry in the afternoon, and tired at night. It turns out that the rhythms of depressed individuals--nearly one in ten Americans--are skewed. That explains their troubled sleep and eating habits, diminished sexual needs, and poor ability to concentrate--and opens a new path to treating mood disorders by resetting sufferers' internal clocks.

U-M genetics prof Jun Li was lead author on a paper reporting the results of a study of fifty brains. The researchers noted the levels of certain hormones present in the brain at the time of death and matched them to those that are active in the brain at a given time of day. Typically, the brain secretes a stress hormone called cortisol in the morning to get ready for the day's activities; at night, melatonin prepares the body for sleep.

For healthy individuals, Li's team was able to develop a formula that correlated hormone levels with the person's time of death. But the formula didn't work for people who had suffered from mood disorders--their hormonal cycles were out of whack.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Networking & Career Development
Regional and State Parks
Ghost Story, by David Swain
Community Services - Counseling and Recovery
Lynette Clemetson
The new face of Wallace House
Eve Silberman
Restaurants with Diapering Facilities
A clickable zoomable map
Turning Orange
Gun safety gets a color.
Eve Silberman
Brewpub Milestone
F&F buys ABC.
Sabine Bickford
Momos at Mark's
Plus wood-fired pizza
Sabine Bickford
Regent Hotel
only cycling studio on the University of Michigan's Campus
spark ann arbor