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June 1973

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

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif; Los Angeles; Stanford, Calif
From the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif (Drs. Zarcone and Dement) and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles (Drs. Kales, Tan, and Simmons and Mr. Scharf). Drs. Kales and Tan and Mr. Scharf are now with the Department of Psychiatry, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pa.

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.

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