Circadian rhythms in auditory hallucinations and psychosis
2023, Acta Physiol
Circadian rhythms are imprinted in all organisms and influence virtually all aspects of physiology and behavior in adaptation to the 24-h day-night cycle. This recognition of a circadian timekeeping system permeating essentially all healthy functioning of body and mind quickly leads to the realization that, in turn, human ailments should be probed for the degree to which they are rooted in or marked by disruptions and dysregulations of circadian clock functions in the human body. In this review, we will focus on psychosis as a key mental illness and foremost one of its cardinal symptoms: auditory hallucinations. We will discuss recent empirical evidence and conceptual advances probing the potential role of circadian disruption in auditory hallucinations. Moreover, a dysbalance in excitation and inhibition within cortical networks, which in turn drive a disinhibition of dopaminergic signaling, will be highlighted as central physiological mechanism. Finally, we will propose two avenues for experimentally intervening on the circadian influences to potentially alleviate hallucinations in psychotic disorders.