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Life Sci. 1989;45(15):1349-56.

Regional cerebral glucose metabolic rate in human sleep assessed by positron emission tomography.

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Department of Psychiatry, UC Irvine 92717.


The cerebral metabolic rate of glucose was measured during nighttime sleep in 36 normal volunteers using positron emission tomography and fluorine-18-labeled 2-deoxyglucose (FDG). In comparison to waking controls, subjects given FDG during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep (primarily stages 2 and 3) showed about a 23% reduction in metabolic rate across the entire brain. This decrease was greater for the frontal than temporal or occipital lobes, and greater for basal ganglia and thalamus than cortex. Subjects in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep tended to have higher cortical metabolic rates than waking subjects. The cingulate gyrus was the only cortical structure to show a significant increase in glucose metabolic rate in REM sleep in comparison to waking. The basal ganglia were relatively more active on the right in REM sleep and symmetrical in NREM sleep.

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