A Pharmacologic Approach to Sleep Studies
In chapter 1 we outlined the development of the concept of “wet” neurophysiology, which emphasizes understanding neural systems by the examination of synaptic transmitters. As we discussed, initial animal experiments seemed to indicate that serotonergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic systems are involved in the regulation of sleep. In this chapter we will describe human studies in which the activity of these systems has been pharmacologically altered. Several types of manipulations are usually employed. Chemical precursors of a transmitter are given to raise its concentration. Drugs that block its metabolism may also raise the concentration, and in addition will prevent formation of metabolites that themselves may be biologically active. The amount of available transmitter can be decreased by administering compounds that inhibit its synthesis. Receptor blockers are used to decrease the activity of a particular transmitter.
KeywordsTotal Sleep Time Pharmacologic Approach nonREM Sleep Delta Sleep Peripheral Decarboxylase Inhibitor
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