Temporal and stagewise distribution of high frequency EEG activity in patients with primary and secondary insomnia and in good sleeper controls

M L Perlis, E L Kehr, M T Smith, P J Andrews, H Orff, D E Giles
Journal of Sleep Research 2001, 10 (2): 93-104
In the present study, we evaluate the temporal and stagewise distribution of high frequency EEG activity (HFA) in primary and secondary insomnia. Three groups (n=9 per group) were compared: primary insomnia (PI), Insomnia secondary to major depression (MDD), and good sleeper controls (GS). Groups were matched for age, sex and body mass. Average spectral profiles were created for each sleep epoch. Grand averages were created for each NREM cycle and each stage of sleep after removing waking and movement epochs and epochs containing micro or miniarousals. It was found that HFA (in terms of relative power) tends to increase across NREM cycles, occurs maximally during stage 1 and during REM sleep, and that both these effects are exaggerated in patients with PI. In addition, HFA was found to be inversely associated with Delta activity and the three groups in our study appear to exhibit characteristic Delta/Beta patterns. Our data are consistent with the perspective that HFA is related to CNS arousal to the extent that Beta/Gamma activity occurs maximally during shallow stages of sleep and maximally in subjects with PI.

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