Background: Multiple types of chronobiological disturbances have been reported in bipolar disorder, including characteristics associated with general activity levels, sleep, and rhythmicity. Previous studies have focused on examining the individual relationships between affective state and chronobiological characteristics. The aim of this study was to conduct a variable cluster analysis in order to ascertain how mood states are associated with chronobiological traits in bipolar I disorder (BDI). We hypothesized that manic symptomatology would be associated with disturbances of rhythm. Results: Variable cluster analysis identified five chronobiological clusters in 105 BDI subjects. Cluster 1, comprising subjective sleep quality was associated with both mania and depression. Cluster 2, which comprised variables describing the degree of rhythmicity, was associated with mania. Significant associations between mood state and cluster analysis-identified chronobiological variables were noted. Disturbances of mood were associated with subjectively assessed sleep disturbances as opposed to objectively determined, actigraphy-based sleep variables. No associations with general activity variables were noted. Relationships between gender and medication classes in use and cluster analysis-identified chronobiological characteristics were noted. Exploratory analyses noted that medication class had a larger impact on these relationships than the number of psychiatric medications in use. Conclusions: In a BDI sample, variable cluster analysis was able to group related chronobiological variables. The results support our primary hypothesis that mood state, particularly mania, is associated with chronobiological disturbances. Further research is required in order to define these relationships and to determine the directionality of the associations between mood state and chronobiological characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry