Cases reported "Chronobiology Disorders"

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1/8. Decreased human circadian pacemaker influence after 100 days in space: a case study.

    OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the circadian rhythms and sleep of a healthy, 42-year-old male astronaut experiencing microgravity (weightlessness) for nearly 5 months while living aboard Space Station Mir as it orbited Earth and (2) to determine the effects of prolonged space flight on the endogenous circadian pacemaker, as indicated by oral temperature and subjective alertness rhythms, and their ramifications for sleep, alertness, and performance. methods: For three 12- to 14-day blocks of time (spread throughout the mission), oral temperatures were taken and subjective alertness was self-rated five times per day. Sleep diaries and performance tests were also completed daily during each block. RESULTS: Examination of the subject's circadian alertness and oral temperature rhythms suggested that the endogenous circadian pacemaker seemed to function quite well up to 90 days in space. Thereafter (on days 110-122), the influence of the endogenous circadian pacemaker on oral temperature and subjective alertness circadian rhythms was considerably weakened, with consequent disruptions in sleep. CONCLUSIONS: Space missions lasting more than 3 months might result in diminished circadian pacemaker influence in astronauts, leading to eventual sleep problems. ( info)

2/8. Decline in long-term circadian rest-activity cycle organization in a patient with dementia.

    Continuous measurement of the circadian rest-activity cycle for 598 days in a demented patient with probable Alzheimer's disease revealed slow progressive changes in temporal organization until death. Circadian and sleep analysis of the actigraphic data provided objective documentation of the gradual insertion of wakefulness into rest and rest into wake periods. Pacing, a nonphotic zeitgeber strengthening, led to improved synchronization of the rest-activity cycle. ( info)

3/8. Psychiatric features and disturbance of circadian rhythm of temperature, pulse, and blood pressure in Wilson's disease.

    Wilson's disease (hepatolenticular degeneration), a disease of genetic origin, is due to abnormal copper metabolism affecting many organs and systems, especially the liver and the nervous system. The initial symptoms can be exclusively or predominantly psychiatric, including psychotic features. Three cases are reported in which the clinical picture at the beginning was compatible with a psychiatric diagnosis. During hospitalization, before treatment, there were abnormal and spontaneous changes in the circadian rhythm of temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, recorded every 6 hours, with febrile peaks in the absence of infectious focus. Because the hypothalamus is important in the regulation of these autonomic functions, the hypothesis of a possible hypothalamic dysfunction was made, justifying a wide clinical and laboratory investigation that allowed the diagnosis of Wilson's disease. Alertness to circadian rhythm abnormalities in such cases may help the psychiatrist avoid an erroneous diagnosis. ( info)

4/8. sleep disorders.

    humans spend approximately one third of their lives asleep. Although the same medical disorders that occur during wakefulness persist into sleep, there are many disorders that occur exclusively during sleep or are manifestations of a disturbance of normal sleep-wake physiology. The most common reason for referral to a sleep laboratory is OSA, whereas the most common sleep disorder is insomnia. Effective treatments now exist for many sleep disorders, such as OSA and RLS, and a major breakthrough in the treatment of narcolepsy seems imminent. Because all disease processes are adversely affected by insufficient sleep, it is essential that the practicing physician understand the causes and treatments of the common sleep disorders. ( info)

5/8. Selective circadian rhythm disturbance in cerebral lymphoma.

    We present a patient with cerebral lymphoma who developed a selective circadian rhythm disturbance. Treatment with modafinil led to a considerable improvement in quality of life. ( info)

6/8. association between delayed sleep phase and hypernyctohemeral syndromes: a case study.

    STUDY OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether the hypernyctohemeral syndrome (non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome) may show a clinical association with the delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) in a 39-year-old woman who developed sleep disturbances following a traumatic brain injury. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Sleep-wake log documentation and wrist-activity recordings for more than 6 consecutive months confirmed the patient's tendency to live on longer-than-24-hour "days." Episodes of relative coordination to the 24-hour day were also noted, suggesting that the patient was transiently in and out of phase with environmental synchronizers too weak to fully entrain her to the geophysical environment. Interestingly, we noted a tendency to initiate sleep between 3:00 am and 5:00 am and wake up from sleep between noon and 1:00 pm. CONCLUSIONS: These results support an association between the hypernyctohemeral syndrome and the DSPS. This association may carry implications for the treatment of circadian rhythms disorders. ( info)

7/8. Transient short free running circadian rhythm in a case of aneurysm near the suprachiasmatic nuclei.

    A free running circadian rest-activity cycle is rare in sighted individuals living in a normal environment. Even more rare is a periodicity shorter than 24 hours, as observed in actigraphic recordings in a female patient during convalescence after a whiplash injury in a car accident. The documented free running period was 22.5 hours for 19 days. During the subsequent weeks re-entrainment occurred following re-establishment by a social zeitgeber, with a slightly early circadian phase of nocturnal melatonin onset relative to a late sleep period. magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral angiography showed an aneurysm at the bifurcation of the right internal carotid artery, close to the circadian pacemaker structure (the suprachiasmatic nuclei), which was later occluded. ( info)

8/8. fatigue and related human factors in the near crash of a large military aircraft.

    INTRODUCTION: During approach to a remote island location, a U.S. Air Force heavy-airlift aircraft was flown into an aerodynamic stall, resulting in the loss of more than 4000 ft of altitude, with the crew recovering the aircraft just before impact would have occurred. methods: An analysis of the mishap was conducted through a review of non-privileged USAF mishap data, cockpit voice recordings, flight data records, and interviews of the aircrew involved. A thorough examination of fatigue-related factors was conducted, including computerized fatigue modeling. RESULTS: The crew traveled over 11,000 mi in a westward direction over a 6-d period. They had been on duty for nearly 21 h on the day of the mishap, with minimal in-flight rest. The pilots were late beginning their descent for landing, and a minor aircraft malfunction distracted the crew, contributing to channelized attention and degraded situational awareness. A breakdown in crew communication and failure to adequately monitor and interpret true aircraft state culminated in loss of aircraft control. Analysis of the crew's work/rest schedule confirmed that multiple elements of fatigue were present during this mishap, including acute and cumulative fatigue, circadian disruptions, and sleep inertia. Additionally, reduced situational awareness and spatial disorientation, exacerbated by the underlying fatigue, were causal in this mishap. DISCUSSION: This mishap highlights the importance of maintaining a high degree of situational awareness during long-haul flights with a continuing need to address issues regarding spatial disorientation, proper application of human engineering principles in modern cockpits, and mitigation of aircrew fatigue factors. ( info)

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