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Sleep Disturbance as the Hallmark of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Abstract (summary)

The reexperiencing of a traumatic event in the form of repetitive dreams, memories, or flashbacks is one of the cardinal manifestations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dream disturbance associated with PTSD may be relatively specific for this disorder, and dysfunctional REM sleep mechanisms may be involved in the pathogenesis of the posttraumatic anxiety dream. Furthermore, the results of neurophysiological studies in animals suggest that CNS processes generating REM sleep may participate in the control of the classical startle response, which may be akin to the startle behavior commonly described in PTSD patients. Speculating that PTSD may be fundamentally a disorder of REM sleep mechanisms, the authors suggest several strategies for future research.

Indexing (details)


Title
Sleep Disturbance as the Hallmark of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Author
Ross, Richard J; Ball, William A; Sullivan, Kenneth A; Caroff, Stanley N
Publication title
The American Journal of Psychiatry; Washington
Publication date
Jun 1989
Volume
146
Issue
6
Pages
697-707
Source type
Scholarly Journal
Language of publication
English
Document type
Journal Article
Copyright
Copyright American Psychiatric Association Jun 1989