Cyclic 48-h unipolar depression is a rare form of recurrent affective disorder. We studied a single patient to determine (a) if there is an association between psychiatric status and migrating motor complex activity; and (b) if phase III of the migrating motor complex is in phase with rapid eye movement sleep in depression. There was marked reduction in phase III of the migrating motor complex during the depressed (n = 7) compared with the euthymic phase (n = 13), and a lack of coherence between phase III migrating motor complex activity and sleep stages in both depressed and nondepressed phases. The depressed state may be associated with altered upper gastrointestinal motor function.
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