• Buxton, Orfeu M. (PI)
  • Quan, Stuart F. (PI)
  • Davis, Frederick (PI)
  • Klerman, Elizabeth (PI)
  • Kronauer, Richard (PI)
  • Saper, Clifford (PI)
  • Duffy, Jeanne (PI)
  • Aeschbach, Daniel (PI)
  • Czeisler, Charles (PI)
  • Weaver, David Raymond (PI)
  • Hughes, Rod (PI)
  • Shiromani, Priyattam J. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Aged-related changes in the discrete brain structure responsible for the
generation and organization of circadian rhythmicity in mammals, the
suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, may play a role in the
pathophysiology of aged-related disruptions in the timing and organization
of sleep and wakefulness. Assessment of age-related changes in circadian
function and their relationship to the timing and regulation of sleep,
neuroendocrine and thermoregulatory cycles requires investigation at a
number of levels: clinical, behavioral, neurophysiologic, cellular and
molecular. The multidisciplinary approach adopted for study of the
organization and function of the circadian timing system in this program
project incorporates four studies-two conducted in humans (one sighted
population; on blind population) and two in animals (one involving neural
tissue transportation; the other gene expression). The common goal of this
program project, which lies at the interface of neurophysiology and
behavior, is to identify changes in the central circadian pacemaker that
are associated with aging; to demonstrate that the age of a discrete brain
structure, the SCN, is the critical determinant of those changes; and
furthermore to relate the neurophysiology to observe behaviors. To achieve
this goal, the program project will draw on the expertise of the following
discipline; circadian physiology, endocrinology, genetics, neurophysiology,
electroencephalography, polysomnography, ophthalmology, gerentology,
neurology, molecular biology, cell physiology, psychology, protein
chemistry, tissue transportation, temperature regulation, oscillator
theory, and statistics. Each of the four proposals is designed to provide
for integration among projects. In particular, all projects will
specifically assess the phase, amplitude and/or intrinsic period of
measurable rhythmic outputs generated by the endogenous circadian
pacemaker. A common language of data, facilitating interspecies
comparisons and synergistic interaction. Further understanding of the neurophysiological changes associated with
aging may provide insight into the pathophysiological of age-related sleep
disorders. In addition, much may be learned about the mechanism involved
in aging of central nervous tissue, and how they affect physiology and
behavior. The structure of this project will facilitate the exchange and
integration of molecular, physiologic and behavioral data from studies of
the circadian timing system focusing on changes related to advancing age.
Effective start/end date8/1/917/31/20


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health

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