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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1997 Dec;185(12):730-8.

Sleep-onset rapid eye movement periods in neuropsychiatric disorders: implications for the pathophysiology of psychosis.

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  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


This paper reviews the literature describing the occurrence of sleep-onset rapid eye movement periods in narcolepsy, schizophrenia, psychotic depression, and delirium tremens; the association of narcolepsy with psychotic disorders; the neuropathology of the brainstem in narcolepsy and schizophrenia; and other behavioral disorders resulting from probable brainstem pathology. These findings suggest that some forms of psychosis are a manifestation of pathophysiological changes in the brainstem. Some implications of this hypothesis for the treatment of psychoses are discussed. Future research should investigate psychoses and the psychobiological correlates of such biological markers as sleep-onset rapid eye movement periods across diagnostic categories.

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