Non-pharmacological treatments and chronobiological aspects of bipolar disorder: implications for novel therapeutics

  • Wallace C. DuncanJr
Part of the Milestones in Drug Therapy book series (MDT)


This chapter reviews prominent neurobiological effects of chronotherapies for the treatment of mood disorders and integrates previously described therapeutic mechanisms with current advances regarding molecular signaling pathways and neuroplasticity. Scientific discoveries associated with circadian rhythms, disrupted sleep-wake patterns, and mood cycling, have establish preliminary links between circadian clock genes and mood. Importantly, the recent description of lithium’s effects on the molecular signaling pathways of the circadian system has advanced our understanding of the intracellular molecular bases of lithium’s mood stabilizing properties. Specifically discussed are the convergent intracellular pathways of monoaminergic drug therapies and chronotherapies (sleep deprivation (SD), light treatment (LT), and sleep phase advance (SPA)), and the advantage of understanding their common pathways for developing novel therapeutic treatments.


Mood Disorder Sleep Deprivation Circadian Clock Clock Gene Light Treatment 


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© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wallace C. DuncanJr
    • 1
  1. 1.Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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