The November 25, 2016 issue of the journal Science explores the bodies’ internal timepieces that drive daily rhythms and influence health (circadian rhythms). Featured Reviews focus on the impact of circadian rhythms and sleep cycles on fitness, metabolism, the immune system, and neurodegeneration, what Science calls “circadian physiology”.
The impact of circadian rhythms on the degeneration of brain neurons in Alzheimer’s disease is the specialty of Dr. Erik Musiek, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Musiek received a 2015 CART Grant recipient for his research on how certain components of the circadian clock are malfunctioning in Alzheimer’s disease, and how this might contribute to the disease process.
Continuing this line of inquiry, Dr. Musiek co-authored the Review in this issue that links circadian rhythms to neurodegeneration. “Mechanisms linking circadian clocks, sleep, and neurodegeneration,” explores potential cellular and molecular mechanisms linking circadian dysfunction and sleep loss to neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. The Review finds that the circadian clock and sleep can influence a number of key processes involved in neurodegeneration, suggesting that these systems might be manipulated to promote healthy brain aging.
Mechanisms linking circadian clocks, sleep, and neurodegeneration. (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6315/1004), Erik S. Musiek, David M. Holtzman. Science (2016) 354 (6315): 1004-1008 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aah4968 – First published online: 25 Nov 2016 (4 pages).