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Phasic REM, Depression, and the Relationship Between Sleeping and Waking

Peter Hauri, PhD; David R. Hawkins, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(1):56-63. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750130058006.
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Nine depressed inpatients slept from ten to 32 nights in the lab. Night-by-night fluctuations in their EEG sleep recordings were correlated with daily changes in Beck depression scores. A "percentage of phasic REM" measurement was obtained nightly by computing the percentage of 30-second epochs during REM containing at least one eye movement. Nightly fluctuations in percent phasic REM were inversely related to day-by-day changes in depression. This relationship was found whether a patient was treated with ECT or antidepressants. The results suggest that depression might be related to the malfunctioning of a pontine sero serotenergic gating mechanism for the control of PGO spiking during the REM.

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