Rhythmicity of Mood Symptoms in Individuals at Risk for Psychiatric Disorders
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Despite emerging evidence that disruption in circadian rhythms may contribute to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, there is a significant knowledge gap on the rhythmicity of psychological symptoms. Here, we aimed at investigating the rhythmicity of mood symptoms in individuals at risk for psychiatric disorders. 391 Brazilian and 317 Spanish participants completed the Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20 for non-psychotic mental disorders; the Mood Rhythm Instrument was used to assess rhythmicity of mood symptoms and the Munich ChronoType Questionnaire to assess sleep patterns. We found that the rhythmicity of specific mood-related symptoms and behaviors, particularly pessimism and motivation to exercise, were associated with being at risk for psychiatric disorders, even after controlling for sleep timing, sleep deficit, and season of data collection. We also found that the peak of some mood symptoms and behaviors were different between individuals at high vs. low risk for psychiatric disorders, with specific differences between countries. These results are consistent with previous research showing that circadian misalignment is associated with higher risk for mental health conditions. These findings also suggest that lifestyle changes preventing circadian misalignment might be useful to reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders, where cultural differences must be taken into account.
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