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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Aug;83(8):2706-10.

Enhanced slow wave sleep in patients with prolactinoma.

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


Bidirectional interactions between nocturnal hormone secretion and sleep regulation are well established. In particular, a link between PRL and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been hypothesized. Short-term administration of PRL and even long-term hyperprolactinemia in animals increases REM sleep. Furthermore, sleep disorders are frequent symptoms in patients with endocrine diseases. We compared the sleep electroencephalogram of seven drug-free patients with prolactinoma (mean PRL levels 1450 +/- 1810 ng/mL; range between 146 and 5106 ng/mL) with that of matched controls. The patients had secondary hypogonadism but no other endocrine abnormalities. They spent more time in slow wave sleep than the controls (79.4 +/- 54.4 min in patients vs. 36.6 +/- 23.5 min in controls, P < 0.05). REM sleep variables did not differ between the samples. Our data suggest that chronic excessive enhancement of PRL levels exerts influences on the sleep electroencephalogram in humans. Our result, which seems to be in contrast to the enhanced REM sleep under hyperprolactinemia in rats, leads to the hypothesis that both slow wave sleep and REM sleep can be stimulated by PRL. These findings are in accordance with reports of good sleep quality in patients with prolactinoma, which is in contrast to that of patients with other endocrine diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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