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PhD Defence

Sofie Laage Christiansen, MSc will defend her PhD thesis "Alterations of Core Components of the Circadian System in a Rat Model of Depression" 11.11.2016 at 13.00.

The defence takes place in

"Den Gamle Festsal"
Aarhus University Hospital Risskov, entrance 67
Skovagervej 2
8240 Risskov

The defence is public, in English and expected to last 2 hours.
After the defence, Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit will host a reception.


The clockwork behind depression

Disturbances of the circadian rhythm, i.e , the inner biological clock driven by the so-called clock genes, are associated with depression. The project was carried out by Sofie Laage Christiansen, who is defending her dissertation on 11/11.2016.

In Denmark, every fifth person develops a depression at a given time in their life. Depression is a complex disorder and the causal factor is still mostly unknown. Up to 80 % of the depressed individuals suffer from sleep disturbances, and the sleep/wake cycle is the most dominant circadian rhythm. Therefore, disturbances of the circadian system have been linked to the disorder.

This study has been conducted using an animal model of depression, the chronic mild stress model. We investigated the 24h pattern of hormones and clock genes in the blood, in several brain regions, and in the liver. The study demonstrated that a stress-induced depression-like state associates with disturbances of core components of the circadian machinery. Hence, it is tempting to speculate that normalization of the disturbed rhythm results in normalization of the depressive symptoms.

For more information, please contact PhD student Sofie Laage Christiansen
email: sofie.christiansen@clin.au.dk, Phone +45 28139489.