Chronobiological theories of mood disorders

Another comprehensive review article: Chronobiological theories of mood disorders (Zaki et al., 2017)

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Here is my summary and opinions about it.

Tl;dr: the authors cautiously explored the bidirectional and/or causal effect of sleep & circadian disorders vs. mood disorders. I appreciated their caution but a lot of the evidence presented suggested circadian arrhythmia as a causal agent.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) don’t address underlying circadian and seasonal rhythm dysfunctions, so patients are usually prescribed these meds indefinitely.

In the future, they see light therapy and melatonin receptor agonists as better treatments. I’d say an outdoor walk sunlight exposure after breakfast in the morning, blue blockers or nix artificial light at night, and instead of melatonin agonists, consider serine.

“The master clock controlling chronophysiological rhythms of theand body organs is located in the SCN…” VIP and AVP are abundant in the SCN! I knew it! LOL

“Humans’ endogenous rhythmic activity has a period slightly longer than 24 hours, hence, it needs daily entrainment to 24 hours with zeitgebers.”


Evidence favoring circadian and sleep disorders as causal agents in mood disorders:

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