Cholinergic regulation of mood and REM sleep: Potential model and marker of vulnerability to affective disorder

N. Sitaram, J. I. Nurnberger, E. S. Gershon, J. C. Gillin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that depression and REM sleep share common cholinergic mechanisms the authors administered arecoline 25 min after completion of the first REM period to 14 patients with remitted bipolar affective disorder, 15 normal controls, and 5 subjects with a personal or family history of affective disorder. The second REM period occurred significantly sooner in the remitted patients than in the normal controls. The patients also had a significantly higher density of eye movements during the first REM period and a higher percentage of REM sleep. The authors believe that increased cholinergic sensitivity and REM density may be biological markers of increased vulnerability to bipolar affective illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-576
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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