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1.  Sunspot Dynamics Are Reflected in Human Physiology and Pathophysiology 
Astrobiology  2011;11(2):93-103.
Periodic episodes of increased sunspot activity (solar electromagnetic storms) occur with 10–11 and 5–6 year periodicities and may be associated with measurable biological events. We investigated whether this sunspot periodicity characterized the incidence of Pap smear-determined cervical epithelial histopathologies and human physiologic functions. From January 1983 through December 2003, monthly averages were obtained for solar flux and sunspot numbers; six infectious, premalignant and malignant changes in the cervical epithelium from 1,182,421 consecutive, serially independent, screening Pap smears (59°9″N, 4°29″E); and six human physiologic functions of a healthy man (oral temperature, pulse, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiration, and peak expiratory flow), which were measured ∼5 times daily during ∼34,500 self-measurement sessions (44°56″N, 93°8″W). After determining that sunspot numbers and solar flux, which were not annually rhythmic, occurred with a prominent 10-year and a less-prominent 5.75-year periodicity during this 21-year study span, each biological data set was analyzed with the same curve-fitting procedures. All six annually rhythmic Pap smear-detected infectious, premalignant and malignant cervical epithelial pathologies showed strong 10-year and weaker 5.75-year cycles, as did all six self-measured, annually rhythmic, physiologic functions. The phases (maxima) for the six histopathologic findings and five of six physiologic measurements were very near, or within, the first two quarters following the 10-year solar maxima. These findings add to the growing evidence that solar magnetic storm periodicities are mirrored by cyclic phase-locked rhythms of similar period length or lengths in human physiology and pathophysiology. Key Words: Cervical infections—Cervical premalignancy—Geo-solar magnetic interactions—Pap smear—Schwabe cycle—10-year rhythm. Astrobiology 11, 93–103.
PMCID: PMC3063695  PMID: 21391821
2.  The association of quality of life with potentially remediable disruptions of circadian sleep/activity rhythms in patients with advanced lung cancer 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:193.
Cancer patients routinely develop symptoms consistent with profound circadian disruption, which causes circadian disruption diminished quality of life. This study was initiated to determine the relationship between the severity of potentially remediable cancer-associated circadian disruption and quality of life among patients with advanced lung cancer.
We concurrently investigated the relationship between the circadian rhythms of 84 advanced lung cancer patients and their quality of life outcomes as measured by the EORTC QLQ C30 and Ferrans and Powers QLI. The robustness and stability of activity/sleep circadian daily rhythms were measured by actigraphy. Fifty three of the patients in the study were starting their definitive therapy following diagnosis and thirty one patients were beginning second-line therapy. Among the patients who failed prior therapy, the median time between completing definitive therapy and baseline actigraphy was 4.3 months, (interquartile range 2.1 to 9.8 months).
We found that circadian disruption is universal and severe among these patients compared to non-cancer-bearing individuals. We found that each of these patient's EORTC QLQ C30 domain scores revealed a compromised capacity to perform the routine activities of daily life. The severity of several, but not all, EORTC QLQ C30 symptom items correlate strongly with the degree of individual circadian disruption. In addition, the scores of all four Ferrans/Powers QLI domains correlate strongly with the degree of circadian disruption. Although Ferrans/Powers QLI domain scores show that cancer and its treatment spared these patients' emotional and psychological health, the QLI Health/Function domain score revealed high levels of patients' dissatisfaction with their health which is much worse when circadian disruption is severe. Circadian disruption selectively affects specific Quality of Life domains, such as the Ferrans/Powers Health/Function domain, and not others, such as EORTC QLQ C30 Physical Domain.
These data suggest the testable possibility that behavioral, hormonal and/or light-based strategies to improve circadian organization may help patients suffering from advanced lung cancer to feel and function better.
PMCID: PMC3114794  PMID: 21605390
3.  Validation of actigraphy to assess circadian organization and sleep quality in patients with advanced lung cancer 
Many cancer patients report poor sleep quality, despite having adequate time and opportunity for sleep. Satisfying sleep is dependent on a healthy circadian time structure and the circadian patterns among cancer patients are quite abnormal. Wrist actigraphy has been validated with concurrent polysomnography as a reliable tool to objectively measure many standard sleep parameters, as well as daily activity. Actigraphic and subjective sleep data are in agreement when determining activity-sleep patterns and sleep quality/quantity, each of which are severely affected in cancer patients. We investigated the relationship between actigraphic measurement of circadian organization and self-reported subjective sleep quality among patients with advanced lung cancer.
This cross-sectional and case control study was conducted in 84 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in a hospital setting for the patients at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (MRMC), Zion, IL, USA and home setting for the patients at WJB Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Columbia, SC, USA. Prior to chemotherapy treatment, each patient's sleep-activity cycle was measured by actigraphy over a 4-7 day period and sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire.
The mean age of our patients was 62 years. 65 patients were males while 19 were females. 31 patients had failed prior treatment while 52 were newly diagnosed. Actigraphy and PSQI scores showed significantly disturbed daily sleep-activity cycles and poorer sleep quality in lung cancer patients compared to healthy controls. Nearly all actigraphic parameters strongly correlated with PSQI self-reported sleep quality of inpatients and outpatients.
The correlation of daily activity/sleep time with PSQI-documented sleep indicates that actigraphy can be used as an objective tool and/or to complement subjective assessments of sleep quality in patients with advanced lung cancer. These results suggest that improvements to circadian function may also improve sleep quality.
PMCID: PMC3113323  PMID: 21592392

Results 1-3 (3)