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Article |

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mood and Central Amine Metabolism in Depressed Patients

Robert M. Post, MD; Joel Kotin, MD; Frederick K. Goodwin, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(5):627-632. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770050077012.
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• Nineteen patients, each hospitalized with a major depressive episode, were deprived of sleep for one night. Ten patients responded with clear improvement in depressive symptoms; the substantial clinical change was transient, usually lasting one day. Those who responded had significantly higher initial depression ratings (P <.01) and tended to be older than nonresponders who experienced mild increases in irritability, fatigue, and discomfort following sleep deprivation. Amine metabolites, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA), and homovanillic acid (HVA) were not substantially affected by sleep deprivation, although there was a significant interaction of clinical response and direction of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) change. Sleep deprivation thus produces acute, but only transient improvement in a selected group of severely depressed patients; it appears to be an important tool in the study of the affective disorders.


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