, Volume 90, Issue 11, pp 485–494 | Cite as

Light, timing of biological rhythms, and chronodisruption in man

  • Thomas C. Erren
  • Russel J. Reiter
  • Claus Piekarski


This paper reviews abundant evidence suggesting that causes and course of aging and cancers can be considered as being both light- and rhythm-related. We define chronodisruption as a relevant disturbance of orderly biological rhythms over days and seasons and years in man. Light is the primary external mediator and melatonin a primary internal intermediary of such disturbances, which can result in earlier deaths via premature aging and cancers. We conclude that experimental and epidemiological research can provide further insights into common denominators of these chronic processes and may offer novel and uniform targets for prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. Erren
    • 1
  • Russel J. Reiter
    • 2
  • Claus Piekarski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute and Polyclinic for Occupational and Social Medicine, School of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.The University of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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