Circadian rhythms in obsessive-compulsive disorder

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012 Oct;119(10):1077-83. doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0805-z. Epub 2012 Apr 28.


The etiopathology and neurobiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are not fully understood. As for altered circadian rhythms associated with OCD, hormonal dysregulation and a delayed sleep phase have come into the focus of research. The novel antidepressant agomelatine is able to resynchronize circadian rhythms and the augmentative administration of this compound has been shown to be of benefit in some OCD patients who are refractory to common forms of pharmacotherapy. Adjunctive chronotherapy might also enhance the outcome in treatment-refractory OCD. The present review summarises the findings regarding circadian abnormalities in OCD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Chronobiology Disorders / drug therapy
  • Chronobiology Disorders / etiology*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / metabolism
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / complications*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / metabolism
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology


  • Acetamides
  • Hormones
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • agomelatine