Manchester research featured in BBC Day of the Body Clock

David Ray, Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology and Consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary, was one of a number of researchers feature in a BBC special about the circadian rhythm, called the BBC Day of the Body Clock.

Yesterday saw a day long feature on the BBC about the body clock. The BBC’s Day of the Body Clock explored the ways in which the body clock affects our body and health, and how the latest research in shedding light on the role it plays in diseases and general health. The feature showcased Professor Ray’s research study, funded by the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal BRU, into understanding how biological clocks are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, and if this offers a way to improve treatment response, by altering the timing of treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of the population and patients frequently report time of day variation in symptoms, which is accompanied by evidence of rhythms in immunological activity. Professor Ray’s research into rheumatoid arthritis builds on previous work which has suggested that the circadian clock is an underlying cause of fluctuations in disease activity, driving cycles in local joint inflammation and cell infiltration.

The filming follows one of Professor Ray’s patients who had their activity and sleep tracked over a period of a week. The patient then took part in an overnight study visit at the NIHR / Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility. During this visit MCRF nurses took the patient’s bloods every three hours, which were analysed at The University of Manchester’s AV Hill building, to measure the activity of their immune system, and see how this changes by time of day.

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