Daily rhythms in behavior and physiology are programmed by a hierarchical collection of biological clocks located throughout the brain and body, known as the circadian system. Mounting evidence indicates that disruption of circadian regulation is associated with a wide variety of adverse health consequences, including increased risk for premature death, cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular dysfunction, immune dysregulation, reproductive problems, mood disorders, and learning deficits. Here we review the evidence for the pervasive effects of circadian disruption in humans and animal models, drawing from both environmental and genetic studies, and identify questions for future research.
Keywords: Circadian; Clock gene mutants; Jetlag; Shift work.
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