The trouble with circadian clock dysfunction: multiple deleterious effects on the brain and body

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Mar;40:80-101. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.01.007. Epub 2014 Jan 24.


This review consolidates research employing human correlational and experimental work across brain and body with experimental animal models to provide a more complete representation of how circadian rhythms influence almost all aspects of life. In doing so, we will cover the morphological and biochemical pathways responsible for rhythm generation as well as interactions between these systems and others (e.g., stress, feeding, reproduction). The effects of circadian disruption on the health of humans, including time of day effects, cognitive sequelae, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, diet, obesity, food preferences, mood disorders, and cancer will also be discussed. Subsequently, experimental support for these largely correlational human studies conducted in non-human animal models will be described.

Keywords: Brain; Circadian disruption; Circadian rhythms; Cognitive function; Disease; Health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / complications*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / pathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents