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Sex differences in slow-wave electroencephalographic activity (SWA) in adolescent depression

Author(s): Jorge Lopez | Robert Hoffmann | Graham Emslie | Roseanne Armitage

Journal: Mental Illness
ISSN 2036-7457

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: sleep | depression | adolescence | sex-differences

Sleep disturbance, present in more than 90% of major depressive disorder (MDD) patients, are moderated by sex in adult MDD. In particular, slow-wave electroencephalographic activity (SWA; 0.5-4 Hz) accumulation is low and dissipation impaired. This SWA abnormality in depressed adult males does not change with age, suggesting that SWA abnormality appears at early ages. The present study evaluated sex differences in SWA in adolescents with MDD compared to healthy controls. We evaluated regularized sleep-wake schedules at home for 5-7 days, followed by two consecutive nights of sleep EEG recording. The study included 104 participants, 52 symptomatic and depressed subjects (MDD: 20 males and 32 females) and 52 healthy controls (HC: 20 males and 32 females), aged 13-18 years. SWA power and dissipation, and duration and latencies to each Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep period were calculated for each group. Results showed that SWA accumulation in the first NREM period was lower and its dissipation across the night more irregular in MDD males compared to HC males (P

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