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The neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) has emerged as a key candidate molecule mediating the synchronization of rhythms in clock gene expression within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). In addition, neurons expressing VIP are anatomically well positioned to mediate communication between the SCN and peripheral oscillators. In this study,(More)
Many patients with Huntington's disease (HD) exhibit disturbances in their daily cycle of sleep and wake as part of their symptoms. These patients have difficulty sleeping at night and staying awake during the day, which has a profound impact on the quality of life of the patients and their care-givers. In the present study, we examined diurnal and(More)
Many Parkinson's disease (PD) patients exhibit sleep disorders as part of their symptoms with evidence suggesting that REM sleep disorders may be intimately associated with this disease. Possible dysfunction in the circadian system in PD has received less attention, yet problems in circadian timing are common in neurodegenerative diseases. In the present(More)
In mammals, the circadian oscillators that drive daily behavioral and endocrine rhythms are located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). While the SCN is anatomically well-situated to receive and transmit temporal cues to the rest of the brain and periphery, there are many holes in our understanding of how this temporal regulation occurs.(More)
Light information reaches the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) through a subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells that utilize glutamate as a neurotransmitter. A variety of evidence suggests that the release of glutamate then activates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors within the SCN and triggers a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to phase shifts in(More)
BACKGROUND Circadian rhythms govern many aspects of physiology and behavior including cognitive processes. Components of neural circuits involved in learning and memory, e.g., the amygdala and the hippocampus, exhibit circadian rhythms in gene expression and signaling pathways. The functional significance of these rhythms is still not understood. In the(More)
The ability to generate intrinsic circadian rhythms in electrical activity appears to be a key property of central pacemaker neurons and one essential to the function of the circadian timing system. Previous work has demonstrated that suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) neurons express the fast delayed rectifier (FDR) potassium current and raise questions about(More)
Circadian research has spent considerable effort in the determining clock output pathways, including identifying both physiological and behavioral processes that demonstrate significant time-of-day variation. Memory formation and consolidation represent notable processes shaped by endogenous circadian oscillators. To date, very few studies on memory(More)
BACKGROUND The neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is widely distributed in the adult central nervous system where this peptide functions to regulate synaptic transmission and neural excitability. The expression of VIP and its receptors in brain regions implicated in learning and memory functions, including the hippocampus, cortex, and(More)
Sleep disorders are nearly ubiquitous among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), and they manifest early in the disease process. While there are a number of possible mechanisms underlying these sleep disturbances, a primary dysfunction of the circadian system should be considered as a contributing factor. Our laboratory's behavioral phenotyping of a(More)