Monday, November 29, 2010

How's Your Sleep?

This is fascinating (to me anyway):
Two psychology researchers at the university found that the brain waves of people with schizophrenia appear to be markedly different than those of healthy people during dreamless sleep, the “light” sleep that precedes rapid-eye-movement sleep where dreams occur.

The experiment tracked the brain waves of 49 people with the illness and 44 people who didn’t have it. About 90 percent of the schizophrenic subjects showed the irregular brain waves.

The experiment also tested 20 people taking anti-psychotic medication for a mental illness other than schizophrenia to test whether the drugs were the source of the irregular brain waves. Their waves, however, were similar to those recorded in the healthy people.

Further research could lead to an easy method for hospitals to test for the signs of schizophrenia. The electroencephalogram (EEG) that would be needed for the test is widely available.
This could cut down on costly hospitalizations and the emotional stress for the patient and their families that comes with not knowing for sure what is going on. This could help a lot of people without being overly expensive.

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