The bipolarity of light and dark: A review on Bipolar Disorder and circadian cycles.

The bipolarity of light and dark: A review on Bipolar Disorder and circadian cycles.

J Affect Disord. 2015 Jul 26;185:219-229

Authors: Abreu T, Bragança M

BACKGROUND: Bipolar Disorder is characterized by episodes running the full mood spectrum, from mania to depression. Between mood episodes, residual symptoms remain, as sleep alterations, circadian cycle disturbances, emotional deregulation, cognitive impairment and increased risk for comorbidities. The present review intends to reflect about the most recent and relevant information concerning the biunivocal relation between bipolar disorder and circadian cycles.
METHODS: It was conducted a literature search on PubMed database using the search terms "bipolar", "circadian", "melatonin", "cortisol", "body temperature", "Clock gene", "Bmal1 gene", "Per gene", "Cry gene", "GSK3β", "chronotype", "light therapy", "dark therapy", "sleep deprivation", "lithum" and "agomelatine". Search results were manually reviewed, and pertinent studies were selected for inclusion as appropriate.
RESULTS: Several studies support the relationship between bipolar disorder and circadian cycles, discussing alterations in melatonin, body temperature and cortisol rhythms; disruption of sleep/wake cycle; variations of clock genes; and chronotype. Some therapeutics for bipolar disorder directed to the circadian cycles disturbances are also discussed, including lithium carbonate, agomelatine, light therapy, dark therapy, sleep deprivation and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.
LIMITATIONS: This review provides a summary of an extensive research for the relevant literature on this theme, not a patient-wise meta-analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: In the future, it is essential to achieve a better understanding of the relation between bipolar disorder and the circadian system. It is required to establish new treatment protocols, combining psychotherapy, therapies targeting the circadian rhythms and the latest drugs, in order to reduce the risk of relapse and improve affective behaviour.

PMID: 26241867 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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