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June 1973

Repeated Oral Ingestion of 5-Hydroxytryptophan: The Effect on Behavior and Sleep Processes in Two Schizophrenic Children

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(6):843-846. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750360065009

Two schizophrenic boys ages 7 and 9 years were selectively deprived of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep for two nights. On recovery nights, they both showed a normal compensatory increase (rebound) in REM sleep. Both patients were given oral D, L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in a dosage of 3.0 mg/kg/24 hr for eight days during which a second REM deprivation and recovery period was studied.

The administration of 5-HTP was associated with an increase in REM sleep and eye movements. The rebound following REM deprivation was decreased compared to the first study. There was no change in behavior. The results are discussed in terms of a possible brain stem abnormality in regulation of REM sleep and behavior in childhood schizophrenia.