Butoctamide hydrogen succinate (BAHS) has been proved to increase REM sleep in patients with reduced REM sleep. Following previous experiments on the effects of BAHS on nocturnal sleep of mentally retarded (MR) subjects, a polygraphic study was conducted on 20 MR subjects (age 8-14 years) to verify the effects of BAHS, 1) after long-term administration and 2) in different etiologies of MR. Subjects were divided into two balanced groups receiving placebo or 400 mg BAHS before sleep for a 6-month period. Basal sleep did not differ substantially in the two groups, both presenting reduced REM sleep. Low amounts of REM sleep were partially reversed by BAHS administration, which caused a significant increase in the REM sleep stage. Post-treatment sleep modifications found in the experimental group were not observed in the control group. BAHS produced its effects on REM sleep immediately after the first administration of the drug, but they became more apparent after long-term treatment. Our findings indicate that long-term administration of BAHS at low dosage mantains its effects on REM sleep of mentally retarded children, causing modifications similar to those previously obtained with single administration at higher dosages in cats, in healthy young and elderly volunteers and in Down's syndrome children. In addition, our observations demonstrate the effectiveness of BAHS on REM sleep, when utilized in mental retardation of etiologies other than Down's syndrome.
- Mental retardation Butoctamide hydrogen succinate
- REM sleep
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