Circadian disruption: New clinical perspective of disease pathology and basis for chronotherapeutic intervention

Chronobiology International
Michael H SmolenskyFrancesco Portaluppi


Biological processes are organized in time as innate rhythms defined by the period (τ), phase (peak [Φ] and trough time), amplitude (A, peak-trough difference) and mean level. The human time structure in its entirety is comprised of ultradian (τ < 20 h), circadian (20 h > τ < 28 h) and infradian (τ > 28 h) bioperiodicities. The circadian time structure (CTS) of human beings, which is more complicated than in lower animals, is orchestrated and staged by a brain central multioscillator system that includes a prominent pacemaker - the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. Additional pacemaker activities are provided by the pineal hormone melatonin, which circulates during the nighttime, and the left and right cerebral cortices. Under ordinary circumstances this system coordinates the τ and Φ of rhythms driven by subservient peripheral cell, tissue and organ clock networks. Cyclic environmental, feeding and social time cues synchronize the endogenous 24 h clocks and rhythms. Accordingly, processes and functions of the internal environment are integrated in time for maximum biological efficiency, and they are also organized and synchronized in time to the external environment to ensure optimal performance and response to chall...Continue Reading


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