New circadian rhythms found in older people

The circadian rhythm of gene activity changes with aging, and a novel biological clock begins ticking only in the older brain, says a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.As people get older, their circadian rhythms change. A 24-hour circadian rhythm controls the majority of brain and body processes, such as the sleep/wake cycle, metabolism, alertness and cognition. These daily activity patterns are regulated by certain genes that are found in most cells but have rarely been studied in the human brain. Previous studies have reported that older adults tend to perform complex cognitive tasks better in the morning and progressively worse through the day. The circadian rhythm is also known to change with aging, leading to awakening earlier in the morning, fewer hours of sleep and…

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