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Psychiatry Res. 2012 Mar 31;201(3):240-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Altered slow wave activity in major depressive disorder with hypersomnia: a high density EEG pilot study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.


Hypersomnolence in major depressive disorder (MDD) plays an important role in the natural history of the disorder, but the basis of hypersomnia in MDD is poorly understood. Slow wave activity (SWA) has been associated with sleep homeostasis, as well as sleep restoration and maintenance, and may be altered in MDD. Therefore, we conducted a post-hoc study that utilized high density electroencephalography (hdEEG) to test the hypothesis that MDD subjects with hypersomnia (HYS+) would have decreased SWA relative to age- and sex-matched MDD subjects without hypersomnia (HYS-) and healthy controls (n=7 for each group). After correction for multiple comparisons using statistical non-parametric mapping, HYS+ subjects demonstrated significantly reduced parieto-occipital all-night SWA relative to HYS- subjects. Our results suggest hypersomnolence may be associated with topographic reductions in SWA in MDD. Further research using an adequately powered prospective design is indicated to confirm these findings.

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