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Waking nightmare: Disturbed circadian rhythm may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease

Our body is tuned to function in a synchronous manner with a “circadian” or day-and-night rhythm. Alterations to daily lifestyles due to the current stressful routines people follow can disrupt the body’s day-night cycle for longer periods. Recent studies in rats have shown that even chronic light exposure can disrupt the circadian rhythm and cause memory deficits seen in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Interestingly, circadian rhythm disruption has also been frequently reported in patients suffering from AD. However, the cause-and-effect relationship between AD and circadian rhythm disruption remains unclear.