Animal models are a promising method to approach the basic mechanisms of the neurobiological disturbances encountered in mental disorders. Depression is characterized by a decrease of REM sleep latency and an increase of rapid eye movement density. In schizophrenia, electrophysiological, tomographic, pharmacological and neurochemical activities are all encountered during REM sleep. Mental retardation and dementia are characterized by rather specific REM sleep disturbances. Identification of the genetic support for these abnormalities (endophenotypes) encountered during REM sleep could help to develop specific treatments.
- Mental illness
- Paradoxical sleep