Titolo della tesi: ISOCHRONOBIOLOGY: INVESTIGATING INNATE CHRONOTOXICITY.
The aim of this study is to outline a flaw in a commonly scarcely considered physiological adaptation process, which, unnoticed, can lead to severe pathologies that range from cancer to autoimmunity. This being circadian rhythm (CR) disruption a common factor in the onset of such diseases, an additional objective of this paper is to assess whether or not CR is advantageous for organisms and in which conditions that may be and, if disadvantageous, to measure its chronotoxicity. The term “chronotoxicity” is here intended to denote the degree to which the environment desynchronizes the CR of an organism. In light of the IC it is therefore necessary to study the optimal entrainment conditions for a fully predictive, synchronized and therefore healthy circadian rhythm and the strategies and therapies to grant it.
An inductive research approach was adopted to integrate, evaluate and interpret the findings of the existing literature to form and verify a new interpretation in the field of research that in this study was named as “Innate Chronotoxicity” (IC) hypothesis.
The analysis of the cited literature provided data to derive four empirical assumptions for the attainment of the IC hypothesis, and namely that: the equatorial region is the only area on our planet that is not chronotoxic for humans because its constant LD cycle corresponds to the human organism’s internal clock cycle and may therefore correctly entrain the circadian rhythm; chronotoxicity is therefore innate and inevitable considering that the majority of humans live a long way from the equator and the circadian rhythm is a congenital physiological feature of all humans; the circadian rhythm is an evolutionary mismatch since innate chronotoxicity is inherently a disadvantage; IC intensity increases proportionally to the distance a person lives from the equator.
In conclusion, to better investigate the said hypothesis and its consequences, the establishment of a new field of medicine named “Isochronobiology” to further investigate the consequences of the hypothesis and possible countermeasures to its effects on the human organisms are therefore proposed.
As we we have seen the cues to obtain such optimal entrainment, namely the LD cycle, must be isochronous, as isochronous are the physiological event that are paced by it, therefore the field of study focused on such matters its hereby proposed may be named “Isochronobiology” (from isos, ‘equal’ ; chronos, ‘time’; bios, life; and logos, science). Isochronobiology as a new scientific field of studies, overlapping with biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and medicine, that may thus be defined as:
the field that investigates the hazardous effects on human health of IC, its molecular mechanisms, its physiological consequences for the living organisms and the application of this knowledge in safety evaluation, risk assessment and the physical and pharmaceutical therapeutical counter strategies.
Innate chronotoxicity and its causes have remained unnoticed and undetected even to this day, although this study‘s findings robustly validate the above four assumptions. If this hypothesis is confirmed through further rigorous research, it bears significant implications for the world’s healthcare systems, due to the burden placed on them by the estimated population affected and the severity of the resulting related diseases. To entertain further speculation, in the conclusions it is cautiously suggested an expanded view of the circadian pacemaker tree.