Chronobiology of Bipolar Disorder: Therapeutic Implication

Sara Dallaspezia, Francesco Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple lines of evidence suggest that psychopathological symptoms of bipolar disorder arise in part from a malfunction of the circadian system, linking the disease with an abnormal internal timing. Alterations in circadian rhythms and sleep are core elements in the disorders, characterizing both mania and depression and having recently been shown during euthymia. Several human genetic studies have implicated specific genes that make up the genesis of circadian rhythms in the manifestation of mood disorders with polymorphisms in molecular clock genes not only showing an association with the disorder but having also been linked to its phenotypic particularities. Many medications used to treat the disorder, such as antidepressant and mood stabilizers, affect the circadian clock. Finally, circadian rhythms and sleep researches have been the starting point of the developing of chronobiological therapies. These interventions are safe, rapid and effective and they should be considered first-line strategies for bipolar depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 27 2015


  • Chronotherapeutic
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Clock genes
  • Lithium salts
  • Sleep
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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