Sequelae of sarin toxicity at one and three years after exposure in Matsumoto, Japan.
In order to clarify the later sequelae of sarin poisoning that occurred in Matsumoto City, Japan, on June 27, 1994, a cohort study was conducted on all persons (2052 Japanese people) inhabiting an area 1050 meters from north to south and 850 meters from east to west with the sarin release site in the center. Respondents numbered 1237 and 836 people when surveys were conducted at one and three years after the sarin incident, respectively. Numbers of persons with symptoms of sarin toxicity were compared between sarin victims and non-victims. Of the respondents, 58 and 46 people had symptoms associated with sarin such as fatigue, asthenia, shoulder stiffness, asthenopia and blurred vision at both points of the survey, respectively. The prevalences were low; some complained of insomnia, had bad dreams, difficulty in smoking, husky voice, slight fever and palpitation. The victims who had symptoms one year after the incident had a lower erythrocyte cholinesterase activity than did those who did not have symptoms at the early stage; such persons lived in an area with a 500 meter long axis north east from the sarin release site. The three-year cohort study clearly showed that the odds ratios of almost all of the symptoms were high in the sarin-exposed group, suggesting a positive relationship between symptoms and grades of exposure to sarin. These results suggest that symptoms reported by many victims of the sarin incident are thought to be sequelae related to sarin exposure. (+info)
Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder: demographic, clinical and laboratory findings in 93 cases.
We describe demographic, clinical, laboratory and aetiological findings in 93 consecutive patients with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), which consists of excessive motor activity during dreaming in association with loss of skeletal muscle atonia of REM sleep. The patients were seen at the Mayo Sleep Disorders Center between January 1, 1991 and July 31, 1995. Eighty-one patients (87%) were male. The mean age of RBD onset was 60.9 years (range 36-84 years) and the mean age at presentation was 64.4 years (37-85 years). Thirty-two per cent of patients had injured themselves and 64% had assaulted their spouses. Subdural haematomas occurred in two patients. Dream content was altered and involved defence of the sleeper against attack in 87%. The frequency of nocturnal events decreased with time in seven untreated patients with neurodegenerative disease. MRI or CT head scans were performed in 56% of patients. Although four scans showed brainstem pathology, all of these patients had apparently unrelated neurodegenerative diseases known to be associated with RBD. Neurological disorders were present in 57% of patients; Parkinson's disease, dementia without parkinsonism and multiple system atrophy accounted for all but 14% of these. RBD developed before parkinsonism in 52% of the patients with Parkinson's disease. Five of the 14 patients with multiple system atrophy were female, and thus the strong male predominance in RBD is less evident in this condition. Psychiatric disorders, drug use or drug withdrawal were rarely causally related to RBD. Clonazepam treatment of RBD was completely or partially successful in 87% of the patients who used the drug. We conclude that RBD is a well-defined condition and that descriptions from different centres are fairly consistent. It is commonest in elderly males and may result in serious morbidity to patients and bed partners. There is a strong relationship to neurodegenerative disease, especially Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and dementia, and neurologists should explore the possibility of RBD in patients with these conditions. RBD symptoms may be the first manifestations of these disorders and careful follow-up is needed. Neuroimaging is unlikely to reveal underlying disorders not suspected clinically. We confirm the effectiveness of clonazepam, but note that attention to the safety of the bed environment may be sufficient for patients with contraindications to the drug. (+info)
Nightmares and disorders of dreaming.
Dreams occur during all stages of sleep. Nightmares are common. They can be associated with poor sleep and diminished daytime performance. Frequent nightmares are not related to underlying psychopathology in most children and in some "creative" adults. However, recurrent nightmares are the most defining symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder and may be associated with other psychiatric illnesses. Night terrors are arousal disorders that occur most often in children and usually occur early in the sleep period. Patients with rapid-eye-movement behavior disorder often present with nocturnal injury resulting from the acting out of dreams. Dream disorders may respond to medication, but behavioral treatment approaches have shown excellent results, particularly in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and recurrent nightmares. (+info)
The use of dreams in psychotherapy: a survey of psychotherapists in private practice.
Since the publication of Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, dream interpretation has been a standard technique often used in psychotherapy. However, empirical studies about the frequency of working on dreams in therapy are lacking. The present study elicited, via a self-developed questionnaire, various aspects of work on dreams applied by psychotherapists in private practice. The findings indicate that dreams were often used in therapy, especially in psychoanalysis. In addition, a significant relationship was found between the frequency of the therapists' working on their own dreams and frequency of work on dreams in therapy. Because work on dreams was rated as beneficial for the clients, further studies investigating the effectiveness and the process of working on dreams will be of interest. (+info)
Rapid eye movements during paradoxical sleep in patients with cerebrovascular disease.
Rapid eye movements that occur during paradoxical sleep are generated from the brainstem and are modulated by cerebral hemispheres. In an attempt to establish the participation of cerebral hemispheres on rapid eye movements, we carried out a quantitative study of eye movements density in patients bearing hemispheres vascular lesions. The polysomnographic recordings of 24 patients were compared to those of 24 healthy volunteers. Density of rapid eye movements was defined as the percentage of eye movements during the respective time of paradoxical sleep. Based on the present results, we concluded that: stroke patients with hemispheric lesions displayed increased density of rapid eye movements; there was no difference on the density of rapid eye movements according to the hemispheric lesion; higher density of rapid eye movements was observed in patients with anterior hemispheric lesion. (+info)
Functional neuroimaging of normal human sleep by positron emission tomography.
Functional neuroimaging using positron emission tomography has recently yielded original data on the functional neuroanatomy of human sleep. This paper attempts to describe the possibilities and limitations of the technique and clarify its usefulness in sleep research. A short overview of the methods of acquisition and statistical analysis (statistical parametric mapping, SPM) is presented before the results of PET sleep studies are reviewed. The discussion attempts to integrate the functional neuroimaging data into the body of knowledge already acquired on sleep in animals and humans using various other techniques (intracellular recordings, in situ neurophysiology, lesional and pharmacological trials, scalp EEG recordings, behavioural or psychological description). The published PET data describe a very reproducible functional neuroanatomy in sleep. The core characteristics of this 'canonical' sleep may be summarized as follows. In slow-wave sleep, most deactivated areas are located in the dorsal pons and mesencephalon, cerebellum, thalami, basal ganglia, basal forebrain/hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, precuneus and in the mesial aspect of the temporal lobe. During rapid-eye movement sleep, significant activations were found in the pontine tegmentum, thalamic nuclei, limbic areas (amygdaloid complexes, hippocampal formation, anterior cingulate cortex) and in the posterior cortices (temporo-occipital areas). In contrast, the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, as well as the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus, were the least active brain regions. These preliminary studies open up a whole field in sleep research. More detailed explorations of sleep in humans are now accessible to experimental challenges using PET and other neuroimaging techniques. These new methods will contribute to a better understanding of sleep functions. (+info)
Replaying the game: hypnagogic images in normals and amnesics.
Participants playing the computer game Tetris reported intrusive, stereotypical, visual images of the game at sleep onset. Three amnesic patients with extensive bilateral medial temporal lobe damage produced similar hypnagogic reports despite being unable to recall playing the game, suggesting that such imagery may arise without important contribution from the declarative memory system. In addition, control participants reported images from previously played versions of the game, demonstrating that remote memories can influence the images from recent waking experience. (+info)
Is there a dissociative process in sleepwalking and night terrors?
The enduring and contentious hypothesis that sleepwalking and night terrors are symptomatic of a protective dissociative mechanism is examined. This is mobilised when intolerable impulses, feelings and memories escape, within sleep, the diminished control of mental defence mechanisms. They then erupt but in a limited motoric or affective form with restricted awareness and subsequent amnesia for the event. It has also been suggested that such processes are more likely when the patient has a history of major psychological trauma. In a group of 22 adult patients, referred to a tertiary sleep disorders service with possible sleepwalking/night terrors, diagnosis was confirmed both clinically and polysomnographically, and only six patients had a history of such trauma. More commonly these described sleepwalking/night terrors are associated with vivid dream-like experiences or behaviour related to flight from attack. Two such cases, suggestive of a dissociative process, are described in more detail. The results of this study are presented largely on account of the negative findings. Scores on the dissociation questionnaire (DIS-Q) were normal, although generally higher in the small "trauma" subgroup. These were similar to scores characterising individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. This "trauma" group also scored particularly highly on the anxiety, phobic, and depression scales of the Crown-Crisp experiential index. In contrast the "no trauma" group scored more specifically highly on the anxiety scale, along with major trends to high depression and hysteria scale scores. Two cases are presented which illustrate exceptional occurrence of later onset of sleepwalking/night terrors with accompanying post-traumatic symptoms during wakefulness. It is concluded that a history of major psychological trauma exists in only a minority of adult patients presenting with sleepwalking/night terror syndrome. In this subgroup trauma appears to dictate the subsequent content of the attacks. However, the symptoms express themselves within the form of the sleepwalking/night terror syndrome rather than as rapid eye movement sleep related nightmares. The main group of subjects with the syndrome and with no history of major psychological trauma show no clinical or DIS-Q evidence of dissociation during wakefulness. The proposition that, within the character structure of this group, the mechanism still operates but exclusively within sleep remains a possibility. (+info)