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Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Jul 1;32(1):79-90.

Cholinergic REM sleep induction test in subjects at high risk for psychiatric disorders.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.


The influence of the cholinergic agonist RS 86 on electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep was investigated in 21 healthy members of families identified as being at high risk for psychiatric disorders and in 17 healthy control subjects without any personal or family history of a psychiatric illness. In comparison to the placebo night, the administration of RS 86 led to a shortening of rapid eye movement (REM) latency in both groups. This effect, however, was much more pronounced in the high-risk group, whereas in the control subjects the arousal system and the slow-wave sleep during the first nonREM period were more affected. These observations suggest that the cholinergic action on sleep regulating mechanisms has differing preferential targets in high-risk probands and in control subjects.

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