xlii. Researchers mentioned here

13 June 2009 at 18:05 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 6 Comments
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Several researchers have been mentioned / cited here, and there’ll surely be more.  They are listed below. 

Bjorvatn, Bjørn (in post vii.), is a sleep researcher at the University in Bergen, Norway, and a co-founder of Bergen Sleep Center.

Czeisler, Charles A. (in post xliii.) has been researching circadian rhythms for several decades.

Dagan, Yaron  (in post xxxviii.) in Israel, often publishing together with Judith Abadi, stated in 2001: “Certain sleep-wake schedule disorders (SWSDs) cannot be successfully managed clinically (…).  …we propose new medical terminology for such cases–SWSD disability. SWSD disability is an untreatable pathology of the circadian time structure…  It is imperative that physicians recognize the medical condition of SWSD disability in their patients and bring it to the notice of the public institutions responsible for vocational and social rehabilitation.”  In almost all of his papers, he emphasizes that people with circadian rhythm disorders often are misdiagnosed because physicians don’t know (enough) about such disorders.  Here is a case study (abstract) about a 14-year-old boy whose other diagnoses fell as soon as his sleep disorder was diagnosed.  It should perhaps be obvious that I appreciate Dagan’s work and his opinion. 

DeCoursey, Patricia (in post xix.), is the grand old, grand old of the field of chronobiology.  In 1960 she invented the Phase Response Curve when the “daily” activity rhythms of her flying squirrels, kept in constant darkness, responded to pulses of light exposure. The response varied according to the time of day — that is, the animals’ subjective “day” — when light was administered. When DeCoursey plotted all her data relating the quantity and direction (advance or delay) of phase-shift on a single curve, she created the PRC. It has since been a standard tool in the study of biological rhythms.

Dijk and Lockley (in post v.).  Derk-Jan Dijk and Steven W. Lockley often publish together.  Dijk, who studies the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms in humans, is director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in the UK.  Lockley, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Neuroscientist in Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the USA, is particularly interested in the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker in humans.

Horne and Östberg (in post xxxviii.) published their Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) in 1976.   It is based on O. Öquist’s 1970 thesis at the Department of Psychology, University of Göteborg, Sweden: ”Kartläggning av individuella dygnsrytmer”, “Charting Individual Circadian Rhythms”.  This marks the beginning of modern research into chronotypes.  Olov Östberg modified Öquist’s questionnaire and, together with J. A. (Jim) Horne, he published the MEQ (pmid 1027738, abstract ) which still is used and referred to in virtually all research on this topic. 

Roenneberg, Till (in post xxxvii. and in post xlvii.), professor at the University of Munich, is one of the best-known chronobiologists in Europe, having received international prizes for both his research and his teaching.  He has built up the Centre for Chronobiology at the Munich Medical School with its database on the sleep of over 50 000 Europeans.  In 2008 in India he collaborated with and directed a project in Mangalore chronotyping the south Indian population, with data covering nearly 75 000 participants.  Roenneberg’s work ranges from the cellular/molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock to the consequences of shift work and, as mentioned, huge surveys.

Thorpy, Michael J. (post xxxii.), board certified in sleep medicine, is a sleep researcher and a professor of clinical neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.  He has held high office in the National Sleep Foundation and in the Sleep Section of the American Academy of Neurology.  Thorpy was for many years editor of The International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual (ICSD) and has been publishing books and articles since the 1980s.

Uchiyama, Makoto (in posts xxxviii. and xxvii.), professor at the Nihon University School of Medicine in Tokyo and managing editor of Sleep and Biological Rhythms, the official English language journal of the Japanese Society of Sleep Research (JSSR), is a prolific co-author of studies on sleep, particularly on DSPS and Non-24, often in cooperation with Masako Okawa, chair of the Asian Sleep Research Society. (ASRS).  This research field is very active in Japan, where study subjects often are people with these disorders.  In the west, in contrast, studies are more often done on healthy, normal people with results extrapolated to effects in people with the disorders.  The Japanese researchers have shown, for example, that the interval between the lowest core body temperature and spontaneous awakening is much longer in people with Non-24 and DSPS than the “about two hours” which is considered normal.

Zivkovic, Bora, aka “Coturnix (in posts xxxvii.xxxiii.xviii. and  xv.), should have had his PhD by now but the ideal job came along and his dissertation isn’t getting done.  He tells about that and about chronobiology and about lots more at ScienceBlogs


Next:  xliii. Blindfolding the blind



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  1. Hi! I just read your entire blog front to back. What else am I to do at this hour ;). Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write all this. I learned A LOT of new things which no doubt are going to be very helpfull in coping.

    When I first stumbled upon the DSPS wiki 3 months ago it was almost scary because it like that article was written almost entirely about me!
    Same thing with your blog entry ii. When I still lived at home my mom used to endlessly yell at me to get up. I would respond ‘Yes I’m awake!’ sometimes have entire conversations, fall right back to sleep and not remember a thing about it the next day..

    Falling back asleep was as inescapable as gravity pulling you down to earth. That aspact was a bit hard to explain to my parents though.

    Looking forward to future posts!


  2. “inescapable as gravity”

    Well put! Thanks much for commenting. Someone’s actually read the whole “book” — how neat!

  3. Hey is there an email address where we can reach you??

    1) I want to know what is this study on ADHD about you mentioned that “got many school kids’s ADHD label removed” – this is VERY interesting…

    2) I’ve done so much research on the subject that I could share with you all the info (about DSPS) that I know that you might not know… Not finished reading your blog though 😉

  4. Hello Alex. Thanks for commenting.

    2) See “Circadian Disorders” in Blogroll at the right. We have an active mail list where we exchange info and support. Do you have DSPS or are you family to someone who has? Welcome to the list.

    1) I read that paper 3-4 years ago and have been hunting for it since! Here’s what I think I remember: Israeli study. They compiled a list of children age 5-12 who either were diagnosed ADHD or parent or teacher thought they should be. Over 1000 names, IIRC. By questionnaire, interview, whatever, they pared the list down to a few hundred & continued. Finally they had a couple dozen kids whom they believed might have DSPS and whose parents were willing to accept treatment by melatonin. I seem to remember that over half were ‘cured’ of ADHD, but I don’t quite trust my memory. The treatment was tried the 2nd half of the school year and it was stopped for vacation. When school started again, many of the parents asked for treatment to continue. If you locate that study, please do let me know, thanks!

    Kids get overactive to keep themselves awake. They don’t drag along and complain of being tired as we do. Apnea, narcolepsy, DSPS, and other conditions (probably including alcoholic parents) which reduce the amount and/or the quality of sleep can create ADHD-like symptoms! Not only behavior is affected – learning and memory suffer, too. /end sermon of the day

  5. Sounds like this study. -J

    Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2006 Nov;45(9):809-18.

    Melatonin treatment in adolescents with delayed sleep phase syndrome.

    Szeinberg A, Borodkin K, Dagan Y.

    Institute for Fatigue and Sleep Medicine, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

    This retrospective study describes the effects of long-term treatment with melatonin in 33 adolescents (age range, 10-18 years) with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). Patients were treated with oral melatonin, 3 to 5 mg/day for an average period of 6 months. During the treatment, sleep onset was advanced and sleep duration was longer. Treatment was also associated with a decrease in the
    proportion of patients reporting school difficulties. No adverse effects of melatonin were noted. This study indicates that long-term treatment with melatonin can be beneficial for adolescents with DSPS in terms of sleep-wake schedule and school performance.

  6. It does sound like that one, living-with, but I’m almost certain the subjects were about 5-12 years of age. It may likely be by the same authors? Wondering now if it was just a poster at some conference…

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