Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 488-493

First online:

Melatonin, circadian rhythms, and the clock genes in bipolar disorder

  • Sara Dallaspezia
  • , Francesco BenedettiAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Neurosciences, San Raffaele Turro, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Raffaele Email author 

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Sleep disturbances and dysregulation of circadian rhythms are core elements of bipolar disorder that might be involved in its pathogenesis. It has been proposed that patients with bipolar disorder have an abnormally shifted or arrhythmic circadian system and that the disturbance of circadian rhythms may be caused by an alteration in the circadian clock machinery. Chronotherapeutic strategies based on controlled exposures to environmental stimuli that act on biological rhythms have shown good efficacy in the treatment of illness episodes, thus confirming ex juvantibus the clinical relevance of internal timing in this illness.