Sleep abnormalities have been consistently observed in patients with schizophrenia. Elevated levels of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and prostaglandins (PGs) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with schizophrenia have been reported, and these neurochemical substances, known to modulate sleep in experimental animals, may play a role in these sleep abnormalities. In this study, we measured PGD2, PGE2, PGF2alpha and CRF levels in the CSF of 14 unmedicated schizophrenic patients and 14 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Polysomnographic recordings were also carried out for each subject. As expected, the sleep of the schizophrenic subjects significantly differed from that of the controls; schizophrenic subjects had a longer sleep onset latency, slept less, spent fewer minutes in stage 2 sleep and had a lower sleep efficiency. We could not, however, detect any differences in CSF CRF and PG levels between normal and schizophrenic subjects, nor could we find any correlation between CSF variables and sleep parameters in the schizophrenic subjects and the non-psychiatric controls. These results do not favor the hypothesis of a role for CRF or PGs in the pathophysiology of sleep disturbances in schizophrenia.
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View details for PubMedID 9657418