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Approved Research

Relationship between the Circadian System and Major Depressive Disorder using Mendelian Randomisation

Principal Investigator: Ms Valentina Paz
Approved Research ID: 68232
Approval date: April 20th 2021

Lay summary

Daily rhythms of different bodily functions are regulated by the Circadian System (CS). In humans, the presence of these rhythms is evidenced, for example, in the sleep-wake cycle.

Desynchronization of this system has been linked to various diseases, including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD is a highly prevalent disorder, ranked as the leading cause of disability worldwide. MD strongly affects quality of life and causes big economic costs to society. However, the association between the CS and MDD is still unclear and as correlation does not necessarily imply causation, it is still unknown whether MDD causes changes in the CS and/or changes in the CS lead to the development of MDD.

Over a two-year period, we aim to investigate whether there is a causal association between circadian system disturbances and MDD. We hope that a deeper understanding of the relationship between the CS and MDD will further our knowledge of this disorder and contribute to the development of more effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies.