KNAW Repository

Living by the clock: the circadian pacemaker in older people.

Hofman, M.A. and Swaab, D.F. (2006) Living by the clock: the circadian pacemaker in older people. Ageing research reviews, 5(1), 33-51. ISSN 15681637. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2005.07.001.

Full text not available from this repository.


The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is considered to be a critical component of a neural oscillator system implicated in the timing of a wide variety of biological processes. The circadian cycles established by this biological clock occur throughout nature and have a period of approximately 24 h. With advancing age, however, these daily fluctuations deteriorate, leading to disrupted cycles with a reduced amplitude. In humans, age-related changes have been described for hormonal rhythms, body core temperature, sleep-wakefulness and several other behavioral cycles. It appears that the disruption of circadian rhythms and the increased incidence of disturbed sleep during aging are paralleled by age-related alterations in the neural and temporal organization of the SCN and a decreased photic input to the clock. The many lines of evidence of age-related decrements in circadian time-keeping and the observed neuronal degeneration of the SCN in senescence strongly suggest that the circadian pacemaker in the human brain becomes progressively disturbed during aging.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2005.07.001
Institutes:Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN)
ID Code:3714
Deposited On:13 Feb 2009 17:14
Last Modified:10 Dec 2009 13:14

Repository Staff Only: item control page