All cells of our body harbour their own molecular circadian timekeepers which are coordinated by a master clock in the hypothalamus. This clock network coordinates physiology and behaviour along the 24-hour day cycle. With increasing age circadian rhythms may become disrupted, leading to cognitive impairment and impacting on general wellbeing and performance. The most important»zeitgeber« of the circadian clock system are light, food intake, and internal messengers such as the pineal gland hormone melatonin. These»zeitgeber« can be utilized to counteract the age-dependent deterioration of the circadian system, e.g. by light therapy or pharmacological reconstitution of physiological melatonin rhythms. It should be noted, though, that such chronotherapeutic approaches only indirectly - through the stabilization of circadian rhythms - improve symptoms such as sleep and concentration deficits, requiring extended treatment intervals to become effective.
|Translated title of the contribution||Treating chronic disruptions of the ageing circadian clock system|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|