Effexor users, other depressed individuals might have poor sleep patterns



Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, while many individuals treat their condition with a combination of pharmaceuticals like Effexor and therapy.

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, and many individuals treat their condition with a combination of pharmaceuticals like Effexor and therapy. Now, a new study has revealed that depression might be linked to irregular circadian rhythms often associated with sleep disorders, while this could have an impact on diagnoses and treatment.

The Independent recently reported that scientists at the University of Michigan revealed that  individuals with major depression have a strange internal clock, while this is the first study to reveal a connection between the two factors. According to the news provider, doctors can use a technique that analyzes the activity levels of certain genes in the brain which are often referred to as the circadian clock. 

The circadian clock is responsible for regulating the body's cycles from day to night in each 24-hour period. The Independent explained that the scientists autopsied brains of individuals with depression and compared them to those of individuals who didn't have the disorder. They discovered that persons with major depression had severely irregular sleeping patterns.

"Our data also suggests that their daily cycles are not only shifted, but also disrupted. That is, they sleep by the wrong clock, and when they do sleep, the quality [of sleep] could be different from normal sleep," University of Michigan professor and lead author Jun Li, Ph.D., told The Independent. "If we can understand how depression and poor sleep reinforce each other, we may be able to find better treatment, perhaps by finding better ways to break the cycle."

The Oregon Health and Science University released a study that found melatonin, the hormone most closely related to sleep patterns, might decrease the negative effects of winter depression. Melatonin can be taken in supplemental form when levels are irregular.