Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lack of rhythm and blues

University of Pittsburgh scientists have discovered that mice with mutations in their CLOCK gene are manic mice. The CLOCK gene is involved in maintaining daily body rhythms such as the sleep/wake cycle. Those mutant mice who are engineered to be CLOCKed-out display behavior reminiscent of patients in the manic phase of bipolar disorder--they sleep less, are hyperactive, and get extra-jazzed on sugar water or cocaine.

As a result of their mousy work, the researchers developed social rhythm therapy for bipolar patients--not a group discussion with percussion but rather psychotherapy geared towards developing regular routines. Those subjects who added the rhythm method to their usual clinical management had significantly longer remissions between manic or depressive episodes.

Dr. Ellen Frank said that many patients accused her of trying to make their lives boring. She answers thus:

You can have as many interesting and exciting experiences as you want, as long as you manage to get to bed at the same time pretty much every night and get up at the same time pretty much every morning.

Sounds like she's trying to make them middle-aged!


Cilicious said...

That's pretty interesting, to think that a bipolar disorder can be eased by just adding a bit more structure.
I am one of those who relies on boring daily morning routines (up early to walk the dog) and nightly bedtime rituals (must shower before bed).
I've been that way since my 30s. ;)

JeanMac said...

I'd love to be able to do that. I do try to go to bed at the same time but I'm up all night off and on - sleep? A good night's sleep - what's that? Could be worse though, I guess.

Mauigirl said...

Interesting. I love the comment about making them boring. They have a point - if all of the great artists who had mental problems had been medicated or re-trained to have structure in their lives we'd probably have a lot fewer masterpieces like Van Gogh's and others'! But those artists might have been a lot happier and lived longer lives with better relationships with other people.

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

Femail doc said...

Cil: Middle-aged before your time, eh? My routines have kept me sane for years!

JM: Would've thought you'd sleep like a log out there in the country. Insomnia, apparently, is not just about streetlights.

MG: It has sort of a Brave New World ring to it doesn't it, dope all the artists so they'll quit creating at night.

Crescenet: Could've sworn I deleted your comment. Glad you find my blog muito interessante, maybe I'll pasada to yours as well.