Faulty Internal Clock makes kids Bipolar


Faulty Internal Clocks make kids Bipolar


 The Natural Rhythm: Circadian rhythm (also known as your internal clock) is the regular recurrence in cycles of approximately 24 hours from one stated point to another. It's the certain biological activities that occur at that interval regardless of constant darkness or other conditions of illumination. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes. The study of circadian rhythms is called chrono-biology. The biological clocks that control circadian rhythms are groupings of interacting molecules in cells throughout the body. So how do the cells of our biological clocks have the ability to predispose children to bipolar disorder?


 The Study: Circadian rhythms are produced by natural factors within the body, but they are also affected by signals from the environment. Light is the main cue influencing circadian rhythms, turning on or turning off genes that control an organism's internal clock. I found a study conducted by the 8th International Conference on Bipolar Disorder, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that showed a link between certain genes and how they increased the two-sided behaviors of bi-polar children.

genes.jpg The Results/Findings: "Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry found four versions of the regulatory gene RORB that were associated with pediatric bipolar disorder." Findings show that mice carrying a mutation in one of the key genes of the circadian rhythm had behavioral profiles that were surprisingly similar to people experiencing a manic episode of bipolar disorder. Depression and bipolar disorder are both associated with major disruptions in sleep and activity, and schedule changes can trigger episodes. Dr. McClung, a PhD assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said several circadian genes are linked to bipolar disorder, depression, and seasonal affective disorder in humans. "Our findings suggest that clock genes in general and RORB in particular may be important candidates for further investigation in the search for the molecular basis of bipolar disorder". More results by " Upstate Medical University studied the RORA and RORB genes of 152 children with the condition and 140 control children. They found four alterations to the RORB gene that were positively associated with being bipolar."


Conclusion: Understanding what makes our biological clocks tick may lead researchers to treatments for health problems. Learning more about the genes responsible for circadian rhythms will also enhance the understanding of biological systems and the human body.

                         Biggest Lesson: Listen to your body's responses to sleep.

sleep deprived child.png

Here is a video that explains a little more about circadiam rhythm!

Here is a BONUS MUSIC VIDEO! (This song was stuck in my head while doing this assignment so I had to include it) This is dedicated to all the 90s fans!



I was surprised to learn that a mutation in a circadian rhythm gene in mice actually led to the symptoms of a behavioral disorder. I find it amazing that as far as we come in the field of medicine, we've still got countless things to learn about both diseases and how our own bodies work. Great videos as well, the first was informative and the second was definitely a great song.

Like you I was also surprise to learn that RORB and the internal clock had something to do with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder and it is very complex. I do not think that by only fixing the internal clock we conquer a major step in bipolar disorder. Genes play a big role and so do other chemicals. In all of the videos that I researched, non spoked about fixing bipolar disorder. They only spoke about circadiam rhythm.Bipolar disorder is a manic depressive illnes, a brain malfunction that tiggers episodes of happines and depression.It is all about mood swings. There is more information about bipolare disorders here

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