Effects of Antipsychotic Treatment on Polysomnographic Measures in Schizophrenia: A Replication and Extension

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Abstract

Objective

The authors sought to replicate and extend previous observations of improvement in some EEG sleep measures during the course of antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients.

Method

Fourteen medication-free patients with schizophrenia underwent 2 nights of sleep EEG monitoring before and after 3-4 weeks of treatment with clinically determined doses of haloperidol or thiothixene.

Results

Measures of sleep continuity improved consistently. REM latency increased, although five of 14 patients continued to exhibit short REM latencies (less than 60 minutes). Stage 3 sleep increased during neuroleptic treatment, while stage 4 sleep did not change.

Conclusions

These data demonstrate partial improvement of some but not all EEG sleep measures in schizophrenic patients through the course of neuroleptic treatment. They suggest that shortened REM latency and disturbed sleep continuity might represent reversible state abnormalities, while reduced slow-wave sleep may represent a more persistent trait abnormality in schizophrenia.

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