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REM sleep and central monoamine oxidase inhibition

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Our preliminary observations on the relationship of sleep and lumbar CSF acid monoamine metabolite levels suggested a greater decrease in lumbar CSF HVA as compared to 5HIAA following clinical doses of phenelzine in the presence of virtually total REM suppression. This report on nine psychiatric patients confirms these findings in a larger sample and thus supports an inhibitory role for dopamine or other catecholamines in REM sleep mechanisms. The drug-withdrawal results indicate that the four patients with REM rebound showed increases in HVA levels compared to treatment levels, while the single patient with no REM rebound also had no increase in HVA levels.

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This investigation was supported in part by Research Scientist Development Award KO1 MH 70012 to D.J.K. and U.S.P.H.S. grant MH 12873. We wish to thank Angelica Rozitis, Amanda Smith, Philip Rogers and Richard McPartland for technical assistance and the nursing staff of the research unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, whose invaluable and consistent help made this study possible.

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Kupfer, D.J., Bowers, M.B. REM sleep and central monoamine oxidase inhibition. Psychopharmacologia 27, 183–190 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00422798

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Key words

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Homovanillic Acid
  • Dopamine
  • Depression
  • REM Sleep
  • Phenelzine
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibition