Re: [GRG] NewAbs: Time-Zone Changes, Jet Lag, and Circadian Disruption

To Members and
Friends of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group: 
     Time-zone changes, jet lag, and circadian
disruption.  See single-gene Abstract below… — Steve

“Our Internal Sleep Clocks Are Out of

The New Science behind the
Disruption Wrought by Jet Lag, Unusual Hours and Bright Tablet
Gene D. Block, UCLA
    In this season of vacation travel, many of us are
happily resigned to jet lag as the price of international adventure. The
malaise associated with crossing time zones has been recognized for
decades, of course. What’s new is our understanding of the wider
phenomenon that scientists call “circadian disruption,” a
disorder of our internal timing system. It can have profound health
consequences, and its causes extend well beyond the occasional overseas
The circadian rhythm in sleep and wakefulness is reset each day by the
light around us. Getty Images
Friday, August 15, 2014; (WSJ) — In humans, the circadian rhythm
in sleep and wakefulness -­ that is, our approximately 24-hour biological
cycle -­ is reset each day by the light around us. This adjusts the
body’s internal clock to the local time zone. Or, to be more precise, it
resets our myriad circadian clocks, because it is now clear that the
mechanism operates not just in the brain but also in the cells of most
tissues and organs.  This timing system served early humans well.
Sleep and wakefulness occurred naturally; seasonal changes in the time of
dawn and length of the day and night were predictable and gradual enough
to allow us to adjust. When humans migrated great distances on foot, slow
changes across “time zones” could be accommodated easily.

    Fast-forward to the modern era, when work schedules
almost ensure that the day begins for most of us with an alarm clock
interrupting our sleep. Add to this substantial and increasing light
exposure at night, rapid travel across time zones, rotating shift work,
and delayed and irregular meal times, and we have the ingredients for
circadian disruption: A state in which the body’s many internal clocks
fall out of sync with one another and with the external daylight cycle,
and­in some cases -­ stop functioning entirely.
    Occasional circadian disruption usually has only minor
health consequences, such as disrupted sleep or daytime fatigue. But
chronic disruption can lead to serious diseases, including Type-2
Diabetes and various cancers. It also can cause suppressed immune
function, cognitive deficits, weight gain, and
    One way to think about our circadian rhythm is to
imagine a wall of pendulum clocks with rubber bands connecting the
pendulums, keeping them in unison. When we cross time zones, our central
clock (in a part of the brain known as the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus [SCN])
receives information about ambient light from the retina, indicating the
change in time of day.  This alters the rhythm of the SCN, but
because the body’s other clocks are only loosely coupled to the central
clock, it takes time for them and the organ systems to which they belong
to resynchronize -­ that is, to swing in harmony like the connected clock
pendulums. During this time of adjustment, people often experience a
mental and physical malaise.
    For those who work night shifts during the week and
return to normal schedules on weekends, the situation is further
complicated by their exposure to light at night. For many shift workers,
especially those on rotating shifts, the circadian disruption may last
indefinitely, resulting in an increased risk of gastrointestinal and
cardiovascular problems. Large studies of US nurses and of women in the
Danish military who worked night shifts also found an increased incidence
of breast cancer.
    Some of these risks are unavoidable. Many industries
and government agencies require round-the-clock operations, so there will
always be people engaged in shift work, and there will always be business
travelers who frequently cross time zones. In addition, few of us will
give up nighttime use of our brilliantly illuminated smartphones,
computers, and tablets.
    But there are ways to deal with the problem. Research
is beginning to show how we can regulate the various internal clocks that
make up the circadian system. In addition, the advent of inexpensive
wrist and pocket monitors that can monitor activity and inactivity may
eventually allow individuals to “self-medicate” by optimizing
their exposure to light and minimizing sleep disruption while they work
and travel.
    Federal health and work-safety agencies also could
craft recommendations to improve our circadian hygiene. These might
include, among other things, guidelines for the intensity and wavelength
of bedroom lighting and for light from electronic devices.
    Those who work rotating shifts would benefit from
recommendations on the schedules that cause the least harm to their
health and well-being and on the ideal number of days before changing
shifts. More sensitive scheduling would also help airline crews and
others whose jobs involve transcontinental or international travel.

    Our globalized economy requires us to work harder and
smarter and often to travel further to stay competitive. Protecting our
circadian rhythms will ensure that we meet this challenge while staying


About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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