Anna Wirz-Justice

Anna Wirz-Justice
Universitäre Psychiatrische Kliniken Basel | UPKBS · Centre for Chronobiology

PhD

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488
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Publications

Publications (488)
Article
Objective: Perinatal depression (PND) is a severe complication of pregnancy, affecting both mothers and newborns. Bright light therapy (BLT) has only been tested in a few studies for treating either antenatal or postnatal depression. We conducted a pilot trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of BLT for PND occurring at any time across the p...
Article
Background Chronobiological processes play a critical role in the initial manifestation and course of affective disorders. Chronotherapeutic agents aim to improve sleep-wake cycle disturbances and affective symptoms by modulating the chronobiological neuronal circuitry.Objective To review the different chronotherapeutic procedures, the current evid...
Article
Light therapy has become established as an evidence-based treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Light impacts the timing and stability of circadian rhythms as expressed in sleep, mood, alertness, and cognition. Forty years of clinical trials and open treatment have led to guidelines for patient selection, using light alone or in combination wi...
Chapter
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The human circadian system drives 24-h rhythms in all aspects of biochemistry, physiology and behaviour. This rhythmicity ensures that the right function occurs at the right time, and separates incompatible functions. Rhythmic synchronisation is key to overall health and wellbeing, and light input from the day-night cycle is the primary ‘zeitgeber’...
Preprint
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Enhancing lighting conditions in institutions for individuals with dementia improves their sleep, circadian rhythms and well-being. Here, we tested whether a greater long-term daily light exposure supports the immune response to the annual influenza vaccination. Eighty older institutionalised patients suffering from dementia (54 women and 26 men) c...
Article
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Daylight is ubiquitous and is crucial for mammalian vision as well as for non-visual input to the brain via the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) that express the photopigment melanopsin. The ipRGCs project to the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and thereby ensure entrainment to the 24-hour day-night cycle,...
Article
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Daylight stems solely from direct, scattered and reflected sunlight, and undergoes dynamic changes in irradiance and spectral power composition due to latitude, time of day, time of year and the nature of the physical environment (reflections, buildings and vegetation). Humans and their ancestors evolved under these natural day/night cycles over mi...
Article
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The prevalence of autumn/winter seasonality in depression has been documented in the longitudinal Zurich cohort study by five comprehensive diagnostic interviews at intervals over more than 20 years (N = 499). Repeated winter major depressive episodes (MDE—unipolar + bipolar) showed a prevalence of 3.44% (5× more women than men), whereas MDE with a...
Article
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Light is necessary for vision; it enables us to sense and perceive our surroundings and in many direct and indirect ways, via eye and skin, affects our physiological and psychological health. The use of light in built environments has comfort, behavioural, economic and environmental consequences. Daylight has many particular benefits including exce...
Article
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Local and national governments around the world are currently considering the elimination of the annual switch to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST). As an international organization of scientists dedicated to studying circadian and other biological rhythms, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) engaged experts in the field to writ...
Article
Light is the most powerful "zeitgeber" signal to synchronize circadian sleep-wake cycles. In dementia, these rhythms are often fragmented - probably due to loss of neuronal function of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (the biological "master clock" in the brain) and/or weakness of external zeitgebers. We investigated the effects of a prototype dawn-dusk...
Article
Mood disorders are often characterised by alterations in circadian rhythms, sleep disturbances, and seasonal exacerbation. Conversely, chronobiological treatments utilise zeitgebers for circadian rhythms such as light to improve mood and stabilise sleep, and manipulations of sleep timing and duration as rapid antidepressant modalities. Although sle...
Article
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Background When patients are admitted onto psychiatric wards, sleep problems are highly prevalent. We carried out the first trial testing a psychological sleep treatment at acute admission (Oxford Ward sLeep Solution, OWLS). Methods This assessor-blind parallel-group pilot trial randomised patients to receive sleep treatment at acute crisis [STAC,...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we review how light affects humans: first by describing the ways in which light impacts physiology and behavior, and then by discussing how different char- acteristics of light (timing, pattern, intensity, duration, and past light exposure) can influence alertness, cognitive performance, mood, sleep, and well-being, in addition to...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we review how light affects humans: first by describing the ways in which light impacts physiology and behavior, and then by discussing how different char- acteristics of light (timing, pattern, intensity, duration, and past light exposure) can influence alertness, cognitive performance, mood, sleep, and well-being, in addition to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Relatively recent cultural and technological changes, particularly in Westernized societies, have led to habitat and lifestyle shifts that have gradually estranged us from daylight. Although human beings are resilient and appear able to cope with extreme variations in environmental and living conditions, this process of separation can have negative...
Article
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Article
Humans retain neurobiological responses to circadian day-night cycles and seasonal changes in daylength in spite of a life-style usually independent of dawn-dusk signals. Seasonality has been documented in many functions, from mood to hormones to gene expression. Research on seasonal affective disorder initiated the first use of timed bright light...
Article
Objective: We tested whether the effects of a dynamic lighting system are superior to conventional lighting on emotions, agitation behaviour, quality of life, melatonin secretion and circadian restactivity cycles in severely demented patients. As a comparison, an age matched control patient group was exposed to conventional lighting. For none of t...
Article
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Diurnal mood variations are one of the core symptoms in depression, and total sleep deprivation (SD) can induce rapid, short-lasting clinical improvement in depressed patients. Here, we investigated if differential sleep pressure conditions impact on subjective mood levels in young women with major depressive disorder (MDD) without sleep disturbanc...
Article
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Article
We assessed salivary melatonin levels in renal transplant (RTx) recipients who participated in a randomised, multicentre wait-list controlled trial on the effect of bright light therapy on their sleep and circadian rhythms. A large proportion of RTx recipients in our cohort had unexpectedly low melatonin values, which precluded calculation of the d...
Article
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In the last three decades the two-process model of sleep regulation has served as a major conceptual framework in sleep research. It has been applied widely in studies on fatigue and performance and to dissect individual differences in sleep regulation. The model posits that a homeostatic process (Process S) interacts with a process controlled by t...
Article
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Purpose: Adolescents prefer sleep and wake times that are considerably delayed compared with younger children or adults. Concomitantly, multimedia use in the evening is prevalent among teenagers and involves light exposure, particularly in the blue-wavelength range to which the biological clock and its associated arousal promotion system is the mo...
Article
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In their paper on the influence of the moon on sleep, Cordi et al.[1] have analyzed a large number of subjects and found no significant effects, as opposed to our positive study findings with a smaller cohort [2]. More is not necessarily better. There are two main reasons why we think the comparison of these two data sets is not just comparing a sm...
Article
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Background This study assessed the effect and feasibility of morning bright light therapy (BLT) on sleep, circadian rhythms, subjective feelings, depressive symptomatology and cognition in renal transplant recipients (RTx) diagnosed with sleep-wake disturbances (SWD).Methods This pilot randomized multicentre wait-list controlled trial included 30 h...
Article
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The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of immunosuppressive non-adherence (NA) in renal transplant patients and describe whether the degree of daytime sleepiness (DS) and depressive symptomatology are associated with immunosuppressive NA. Using a cross-sectional design, 926 home-dwelling renal transplant recipients who were transpl...
Article
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The onset of melatonin secretion in the evening is the most reliable and most widely used index of circadian timing in humans. Saliva (or plasma) is usually sampled every 0.5-1 hours under dim-light conditions in the evening 5-6 hours before usual bedtime to assess the dim-light melatonin onset (DLMO). For many years, attempts have been made to fin...
Article
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Poor sleep quality (SQ) and daytime sleepiness (DS) are common in renal transplant (RTx) recipients; however, related data are rare. This study describes the prevalence and frequency of self-reported sleep disturbances in RTx recipients. This cross-sectional study included 249 RTx recipients transplanted at three Swiss transplant centers. All had r...
Article
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CONTEXT: Daytime sleepiness in kidney transplant recipients has emerged as a potential predictor of impaired adherence to the immunosuppressive medication regimen. Thus there is a need to assess daytime sleepiness in clinical practice and transplant registries. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity of a single-item measure of daytime sleepiness integ...
Article
Endogenous rhythms of circalunar periodicity (w29.5 days) and their underlying molecular and genetic basis have been demonstrated in a number of marine species [1, 2]. In contrast, there is a great deal of folklore but no consistent association of moon cycles with human physiology and behavior [3]. Here we show that subjective and objective measure...
Article
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Der Hell-Dunkel-Wechsel von Tag und Nacht ist von zentraler Bedeutung für die tagesrhythmischen Abläufe psychischer und physischer Prozesse im menschlichen Körper. Licht hat Zeitgeberwirkung für unsere innere Uhr und ermöglicht die Synchronisation dieses zirkadianen (~24-Stunden) Taktgebers mit dem äußeren exakt 24-Stunden-Rhythmus und fördert so u...
Article
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Chronotherapeutics - treatments based on the principles of circadian rhythm organization and sleep physiology - offers mental health practitioners a set of nonpharmaceutical, rapid, and effective antidepressant modalities for monotherapy or as adjuvants to conventional medication. Here, we consider light exposure and sleep deprivation (more positiv...
Article
Major depression and sleep disturbances are closely related and often occur concomitantly. Many of the observed changes of sleep characteristics in depression are also present in healthy aging, which led to the premise that sleep in depression resembles premature aging.AimHere, we aimed at quantifying the homeostatic and circadian sleep-wake regula...
Conference Paper
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Background: Medication non adherence (NA) is common in renal transplant (RTx) recipients and is associated with negative clinical and economic outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and to assess a potential association between NA and daytime sleepiness (DS) in RTx. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, a convenience sam...
Article
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Biological functions occur at many different frequencies, and each has its healthy and pathological ranges, patterns, and properties. Physiology, biochemistry, and behavior are not only organized at the morphological level in cells and organs, but separated or coordinated in time for minimal interference and optimal function. One of the most import...
Article
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Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) frequently suffer from sleep disturbances. The authors investigated circadian rhythms, sleep, and well-being in women with BPD in their habitual life conditions during 3 weeks with morning light therapy (LT) and 3 weeks without LT (oLT). Sleep-wake cycles were measured using wrist actimetry, pr...
Article
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Recently, we developed a novel method for estimating human circadian phase with noninvasive ambulatory measurements combined with subject-independent multiple regression models and a curve-fitting approach. With this, we were able to estimate circadian phase under real-life conditions with low subject burden, i.e., without need of constant routine...
Article
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— In commodity LC flat-panel displays, the traditional CCFL backlight is being replaced more and more by LEDs. The typical spectrum of LED-lit displays shows a significantly higher amount of blue light in the range around 464 nm. Blue light in this wavelength area suppresses the melatonin level in humans and thus effects the biological clock. Our h...
Article
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There is mounting evidence for the involvement of the sleep-wake cycle and the circadian system in the pathogenesis of major depression. However, only a few studies so far focused on sleep and circadian rhythms under controlled experimental conditions. Thus, it remains unclear whether homeostatic sleep pressure or circadian rhythms, or both, are al...
Chapter
Full-text available
Lichttherapie ist eine chronobiologische Behandlungsmethode, deren Einsatz sich bei affektiven Störungen bewährt hat. Als nicht pharmakologische Behandlungsform für Schwangere mit Depressionen erscheint die Lichttherapie vielversprechend, da sie einfach anwendbar und nebenwirkungsarm ist.
Article
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All functions of day rythm are under control of internal clock in suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of hypothalamus. This clock has before hand genetical program. Synchronization with 24-hour day cycle is provided by light, which cause like time indicator. Depression is distinguished mainly by changes of circadian rythms and by sleep disorders. It is po...
Article
Chronotherapeutics (light, darkness, sleep manipulations, melatonin) offer a new synthesis of non-pharmacologic interventions designed to accelerate remission in patients with depression and bipolar disorder. Combinations of light and wake therapy achieve fast results and, by reducing residual symptoms, also minimise relapse over many months. In ad...
Article
Full-text available
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often associated with disturbances in circadian and/or sleep-wake dependent processes, which both regulate daytime energy and sleepiness levels. Analysis of continuous electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings during 40 h of extended wakefulness under constant routine conditions. Artifact-free EEG samples derived f...
Article
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To determine the prevalence of self-reported circadian-related sleep disorders, sleep medication and melatonin use in the New Zealand blind population. A telephone survey incorporating 62 questions on sleep habits and medication together with validated questionnaires on sleep quality, chronotype and seasonality. PARTICIPANTS WERE GROUPED INTO: (i)...