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Reduction of transcallosal inhibition upon awakening from REM sleep in humans as assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation

Bertini, M and De Gennaro, L and Ferrara, M and Curcio, G and Romei, V and Fratello, F and Cristiani, R and Pauri, F and Rossini, PM (2004) 'Reduction of transcallosal inhibition upon awakening from REM sleep in humans as assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation.' Sleep, 27 (5). 875 - 882. ISSN 0161-8105

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Study Objectives: The aim of the study is to assess, in humans, transcallosal inhibition upon awakening from rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep, by paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Design: During the daytime, a baseline session of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) was recorded. During the nighttime, the TMS sessions were administered just before sleep onset and upon awakenings from REM and stage 2 sleep, both in the early and final part of night. Setting: The sleep research laboratory at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." Participants: Ten right-handed subjects participated in the experiment for 4 consecutive sleep-recording nights. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: During the daytime, a robust transcallosal inhibition was found; the MEP amplitude reduction ranged from 35% to 40%. During the nighttime, a decrease of transcallosal inhibition from right-to-left motor cortex, as compared to that from left-to-right motor cortex, was observed. The direct assessment of MEP changes, as a function of sleep stage and of the time of night, pointed to a drop of transcallosal inhibition after awakening from REM sleep. Therefore, the inhibitory activity of transcallosal fibers observed after non-REM awakening almost disappeared after REM sleep awakenings. Conclusions: The drastic drop of transcallosal inhibition after awakenings from REM sleep represents the first evidence in humans of a change of interhemispheric connectivity mediated by the corpus callosum during this sleep stage and may open new avenues for a better understanding of some aspects of sleep mechanisms (ie, dreaming function and dream mentation). Abbreviations: REM, rapid eye movement; MEP, motor evoked potentials; TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation; EEG, electroencephalogram; ADM muscle, Abductor Digiti Minimi muscle; ISI, interstimulus intervals; MT, motor threshold; IHPP paradigm, interhemispheric paired pulse paradigm; ANOVA, analysis of variance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 14:11
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2018 15:15

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