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Seasonal variation in neurohormones, mood and sleep in patients with primary open angle glaucoma - implications of the ipRGC-system

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Primary open angle glaucoma is associated with an increased risk of mood and sleep disorders. These adversities have been suggested to relate to a disrupted function of the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). The ipRGCs are key components in the nonvisual photoreceptive system that mediates light effects on mood, sleep and circadian rhythm. We assessed the diurnal hormone levels, pupillary responses and mood and sleep under seasons with different photoperiods in 24 patients with glaucoma and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls to investigate responses to naturalistic seasonal changes in daylight. The patients had moderate-to-advanced glaucoma with substantial visual field defects and reductions in the ipRGC-mediated pupillary responses (p < .001). In winter, compared with summer, patients with glaucoma had higher daytime melatonin concentration (p < .001) and lower nighttime cortisol (p = .002). In winter, the daytime melatonin level was inversely correlated with the ipRGC-mediated pupillary responses in the control group (p = .04). In the control group, there were no significant changes in hormone levels between seasons or any correlations between neurohormone levels and the ipRGC-mediated responses. The two groups showed a similar response to season with lower depression scores in summer compared with winter. In between-group comparison, the nocturnal melatonin level (area under curve from 20:00 h to 08:00 h) in summer was lower in glaucoma compared with controls (p = .03). In winter, nocturnal cortisol (at 04:00 h) was lower (p = .004) and daytime cortisol (12:00 h and 16:00 h) was higher (p = .007) in glaucoma compared with controls. In conclusion, we found that patients with glaucoma displayed a seasonal variation in diurnal hormone levels that was not present in healthy controls. Such neurohormonal changes may contribute to the increased risk of mood and sleep disorders seen in patients with glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChronobiology International
Volume38
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1421-1431
Number of pages11
ISSN0742-0528
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

    Research areas

  • diurnal rhythm, Glaucoma, melatonin, retinal ganglion cells, seasonality

ID: 67031398