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Although several neuroendocrine abnormalities have been described in depressed patients, relatively little attention has been paid to the pattern of prolactin secretion during sleep. Sleep disturbances are frequently found in depressed patients, and the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) typically shows significant changes in the first and last 100 min, when prolactin secretion frequently occurs. In this study, carefully defined inclusion criteria were used to ensure comparability in the quality of the sleep maintenance, so that the pattern of sleep-related prolactin secretion in a group of 26 depressed inpatients could be compared to that in a group of 20 healthy control subjects. Starting from sleep onset, the patients did not show any statistically significant difference in either the serum prolactin concentration or the pattern of integrated prolactin secretion relative to the control subjects. A statistically significant relationship between prolactin secretion and the REM-non-REM sleep cycle could not be demonstrated in these subjects.
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Received in revised form: January 20, 1987
Received: July 19, 1986The technical assistance of J. Stack, R. Mathias, M. Knorr, R. Denk, D. Keady, B. Billy, C. McCune and L. Altieri in the conduct of the sleep and neuroendocrine studies is gratefully acknowledged. The hormone assays were performed by C. Kalinyak and W. Bowen. The preparation of this manuscript was facilitated by the secretarial assistance of K. Rose.
☆Supported in part by NIMH Grants MH15758, MH24652, MH30915, and MH34390 and Research Scientist Development Award MH00327 to D.B.J., as well as a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Research Network on the Psychobiology of Depression.
© 1987 Published by Elsevier Inc.