The role of lithium efficacy in treating bipolar disorder has recently been discovered by scientists. Lithium has found to be having very few side effects and an effective drug therapy. Bipolar is a disorder in which a person seems to experience a switch between mania (the high) and depression (the low). 1 % to 3 % population could suffer from bipolar. The mood swings experienced in bipolar disorder have been associated with disrupted circadian rhythms.
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Editor: Wakeel Murad
Circadian rhythms are controlled by our internal body clock that govern our day and night activities. These activities include sleeping and waking up on designated times, eating patterns, hormonal secretion regulation, and maintaining blood pressure levels. The regulation of these activities highly depends on the connection of internal body clock with light cues. If the internal clock and light cues get out of harmony, our normal bodily functions could be severely disrupted.
Failing to harmonize the internal clock with external light cues could end up in problems like jet lags and bipolar tendencies. Jet lag is a sleep problem that occurs due to abrupt shifting in light-dark cycle. This leads to a major change in sleep-wake timing.
On the other hand, in bipolar patients, this circadian clock seems to oscillate at faster frequencies than they should, giving rise to a probability that bipolar may be a circadian rhythm problem.
Circadian deregulation is often experienced by patients during depressive and acute mood episodes. This also affects hormonal secretions and body temperature. According to some studies, the abnormalities in mood can be alleviated or aggravated by advancing or delaying circadian clocks through scheduled light exposure or changes in sleep timings.