Author: Ulrich Michael Hemmeter, University of Marburg.
Names and affiliation of other authors:
Penzel Tē, Huber M1, Steiger A3, Thum A1, Krieg CJ1
1 University of Marburg, Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
2 University of Marburg, clinic of internal medicine, section pulmonology, sleep laboratory
3 Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, clinical institute, Munich, Germany
Oral or poster: Oral presentation
Sleep EEG and nocturnal hormonal secretion provide an information about brain activity undisturbed from external cues. In healthy subjects there is a regular alteration of NonREM-, REM cycles with a decrease of NonREM- and an increase of REM-sleep across the night. This regular pattern is accompanied by a distinct secretion of sleep associated hormones, such as growth hormone, cortisol and others.
Almost all mental disorders share the symptoms of sleep disturbance. However, sleep architecture may be characteristically altered in different mental disorders. Predominantly in depression characteristic sleep EEG alterations can be observed, such as reduced SWS, increased REM sleep at the beginning of the night and reduced REM-latency. Furthermore, this sleep-EEG pattern is accompanied by an alteration of sleep related hormonal secretion, which is closely linked to sleep-architecture. In addition, an altered endocrine activity, predominantly the activity of the HPA-axis may be related to the characteristic sleep EEG findings in depression. First studies showed that these neurobiological findings in depression may have an impact on treatment response and long term outcome.
These clinical data about neurobiological relations in depression shall provide the basis for mechanism based computer simulations which combine models of autonomous functions (sleep-wake cycles and HPA-axis) with neuronal models in order to obtain a better diagnosis and therapy of mental disorders.