In order to test the changes of REM pattern in depression, 12 bipolar depressive patients were polisomnographicaly examined during amitryptiline treatment. Latency of REM sleep (LR), REM time (RT), REM density (RD), latency of eye movement (LEM) and mean latency of eye movement (M-LEM) were measured under 3 conditions: a) after 2 weeks wash out period (baseline), b) in 7th day of treatment with optimal dose of amitryptiline (125-300 mg/die), c) in 21st day of treatment with optimal dose of amitryptiline.
In comparison with baseline the significant prolongation of RL, LEM 1, M-LEM, decrease of RT and increase of RD in 7th day of treatment, as well as prolongation of LEM 1 and M-LEM in 21st day of amitryptiline treatment were found.
The result suggests that the influence of amitryptiline on REM sleep is complex and incompletely understood. The future researches with selective compounds are necessary.