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Sleep-wake mechanism (Seritonin/Norepinephrine)

Edwin R. Yeh ery2 at po.CWRU.Edu
Thu Nov 18 11:50:47 EST 1993

What is the latest theory on the sleep-wake mechanism (especially,
the part that causes inhibition of motor/voluntary system when
falling asleep and the reactivating mechanism of it upon waking.)
I have gotten a hold of a few papers from the Brain Research Inst.
at UCLA but they were dated about 20 years ago. One of the paper
by Routtenberg, suggested the increase of serotonin and descrease
of norepinephrine transmitters corrleate with the process of falling
asleep and sleep itself and the opposite with the waking. Dr. Nye
who responded in sci.med suggested that tonic firing in the locus
coeruleus during sleeping has inhibitory effect on the motor systems.

I am wondering if the exact physiological basis of sleep-wake mechanism
is now known and if any experiments (perhaps, with the assistance
of new technology such as PET, fMRI, etc. in combination with EEG)
have revealed more insights. Your response will be appreicated. If
you have references please let me know.

Thanks in advance

Edwin R. Yeh (CWRU Biomed. Eng.)

P.S. If you have followed previous post on "mysterious paralysis", 
you may want to know that I am specifically looking for possible
explanations of sudden weakening/paralysis of proximal muscles which
happened to me last week.
Edwin R. Yeh < ery2 at po.cwru.edu >
Case Western Reserve Biomedical Engineering

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