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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001 Nov;25(5 Suppl):S74-8.

Clinical neurochemical implications of sleep deprivation's effects on the anterior cingulate of depressed responders.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Irvine 92717, USA.


The antidepressant and cerebral metabolic effects of total sleep deprivation (TSD) or partial sleep deprivation (PSD) for one night has been studied with functional neuroimaging in seven publications from five different groups. Despite the variations in methods and techniques, the over-all findings were relatively consistent. First, before sleep deprivation, responders have significantly elevated metabolism compared with non-responders and normal controls, in the orbital medial prefrontal cortex, and especially the ventral portions of the anterior cingulate cortex. Second, after sleep deprivation, these hyperactive areas normalize in the responders. One functional imaging study suggested that synaptic dopamine release was associated with the antidepressant effects of TSD. The neurochemical implications of these findings are explored. Possible dopaminergic and serotonergic mechanisms are discussed.

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