Ponto-geniculo-occipital (PGO) waves are phasic pontine, lateral geniculate, and cortical field potentials occurring during and before REM sleep that are proposed to mediate a wide variety of sleep related neural processes. We sought to identify and characterize human PGO waves.
We recorded simultaneously from intrapontine depth electrodes and scalp electrodes in a human subject across sleep states.
Tertiary care neurological and neurosurgical referral center.
Patients or Participants:
We studied a patient involved in a study of the clinical effects of unilateral pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) stimulation on Parkinson disease (PD).
Measurements and Results:
We recorded phasic potentials from the human pons occurring during and before REM sleep with a morphology, temporal distribution, and localization similar to those of PGO waves in other mammals. The source of these potentials was localized to a circumscribed region of the pontomesencephalic tegmentum. These potentials were only incompletely associated with eye movements. They were followed by characteristic cortical potentials with a latency of 20-140 msec.
We conclude that PGO waves are a feature of human REM sleep, that they are generated or propagated in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum, that they are only partially associated with eye movements, and that they are associated with characteristic changes in cortical activity.