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Messing with the natural rhythm of one's internal clock may boost the risk of developing mood problems ranging from garden-variety loneliness to severe depression and bipolar disorder, researchers said Wednesday. The largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people, also linked interference with the body's "circadian rhythm" to a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and attention span. The volunteers wore accelerometers that measured patterns of rest and activity and had this record compared to their mental history, also taken from the U.K. Biobank.Individuals with a history of disrupting their body's natural rhythm – working night shifts, for example, or suffering repeated jetlag – also tended to have a higher lifetime risk of mood disorders, feelings of unhappiness, and cognitive problems, the researchers found.
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