5-HTP and Melatonin as Therapeutic Supplements to Promote REM Sleep and Facilitate Semantic Memory Consolidation in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Proposed Study
Seidarabi, Sara S.
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The aim of the present study is to propose an experiment implementing melatonin or 5- hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) supplements as restorative treatments against sleep fragmentations in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in patients with focal temporal lobe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Fragmented REM sleep has been thought to play a role in distorting the process of memory consolidation, a process that is crucial for fortifying memory traces. Memory impairment has been a hallmark complaint of individuals who suffer from TBI. Individuals who have focal temporal lobe lesions, in particular, have complained of semantic memory deficits and sleep disturbances. Melatonin and 5-HTP have each demonstrated therapeutic properties against sleep disturbances, cognitive impairments, and brain lesions. To assess the efficiency of each supplement, a sleep study and semantic memory assessment will be conducted. The semantic memory scores between the baseline period and the treatment periods will be compared to determine if an improvement occurred. The sleep study will analyze the duration of REM sleep activity. Melatonin will be implemented to increase overall sleep efficiency, and ultimately mend REM sleep. 5-HTP use will lengthen the duration spent in REM sleep presumably, and therefore improve REM sleep. As a result, it is hypothesized that either the use of melatonin or 5-HTP will demonstrate improvements in semantic memory scores as a result of improved REM sleep in patients with focal temporal lobe TBIs.