Image courtesy of Andrew Gaudet, UT Austin.
Spinal cord injury disrupts the circadian system. Light acts on the circadian system through the master oscillator of the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN coordinates peripheral clocks via intermediate factors (physiologic, humoral, and autonomic). This new work shows that spinal cord injury disrupts several intermediate factors, which throws off rhythms of other clocks throughout the body. If these post-injury effects hinder repair, clock-based strategies could help improve recovery.