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Chronobiol Int. 2010 Jan;27(2):265-77. doi: 10.3109/07420521003663785.

3111T/C clock gene polymorphism is not associated with sleep disturbances in untreated depressed patients.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Sleep patterns, frequently altered in depression, have been hypothesized to be under genetic control. The circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK) T3111C variant has been studied in association with sleep disturbances in depressed patients. The aim of this study was to investigate possible effects of T3111C CLOCK on insomnia, daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, and depression severity in a sample of 100 major depressive disorder patients. Inclusion criteria were: major depressive disorder, drug-free for any antidepressant and/or benzodiazepines for at least four weeks previously to the study, and a minimum score of >17 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Athens Insomnia Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were applied. No significant difference was found concerning genotype or allele groups and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression items or clusters. No difference was found between genotypes and comorbidity, chronotype distribution, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Athens Insomnia Scale, or Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index total scores. Overall, the present findings did not support the hypothesis of an effect of the T3111C CLOCK variant on sleep disturbances in major depressive disorder. Further analysis of clock machinery will clarify the contribution of clock genes to the maintenance of mental health.

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