Educational Needs & Objectives
In general, in our approach to diagnose and treat diseases we do not consider the dimension of time. Almost all chronic diseases are affected by our environment. Circadian rhythm disruption is an environmental factor that affects the majority of individuals in our modern society, be it a poor sleep schedule, shift work, exposure to light at night, or even abnormal/irregular eating patterns. While laboratory research has shown diurnal oscillations of most cellular proteins, the circadian oscillation of these proteins is usually not taken into account in the body of basic science research (e.g., when samples are collected or when experiments are conducted). On the clinical side, circadian rhythms are an integral part of our human biology but this topic is not typically discussed between medical doctors and their patients (e.g., when do symptoms occur or when is the optimal time to take a medication). In the era of personalized medicine, the dimension of time needs to be brought into the equation for understanding health and disease.
1) Foster an understanding of the importance of biological rhythms in GI health and disease;
2) Convey the factors that can disrupt central and peripheral circadian rhythms;
3) Identify the role of circadian disruption in various GI pathologies, obesity, metabolic syndrome, NASH, alcohol use disorders, brain/gut axis and GI cancers;
4) Demonstrate the possible mechanisms by which circadian disruption can predispose individuals to variety of GI-related diseases;
5) Discuss important research considerations caused by circadian oscillations of proteins and hormones in basic science and clinical settings;
6) Consider the potential implications of chronobiological approaches to prevent and treat GI diseases.