Carter B, Justin HS, Gulick D and Gamsby JJ (2021) The Molecule Clock and Neurodegenerative Disease: A Stressful Time. Front. Mol. Biosci. 8:644747. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.644747

Circadian rhythm dysfunction occurs in both common and rare neurodegenerative diseases. This dysfunction manifests as sleep cycle mistiming, alterations in body temperature rhythms, and an increase in symptomatology during the early evening hours known as Sundown Syndrome. Disruption of circadian rhythm homeostasis has also been implicated in the etiology of neurodegenerative disease. Indeed, individuals exposed to a shifting schedule of sleep and activity, such as health care workers, are at a higher risk. Thus, a bidirectional relationship exists between the circadian system and neurodegeneration. At the heart of this crosstalk is the molecular circadian clock, which functions to regulate circadian rhythm homeostasis. Over the past decade, this connection has become a focal point of investigation as the molecular clock offers an attractive target to combat both neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis and circadian rhythm dysfunction, and a pivotal role for neuroinflammation and stress has been established. This review summarizes the contributions of molecular clock dysfunction to neurodegenerative disease etiology, as well as the mechanisms by which neurodegenerative diseases affect the molecular clock.

Copyright © 2021 Carter, Justin, Gulick and Gamsby. 

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