In this paper, we present two carefully documented cases of patients with sleep-related eating disorder (SRED), a parasomnia which is characterized by involuntary compulsive eating during the night and whose pathophysiology is not known. Using video-polysomnography, a dream diary and psychometric examination, we found that both patients present elevated novelty seeking and increased reward sensitivity. In light of new evidence on the mesolimbic dopaminergic implication in compulsive eating disorders, our findings suggest a role of an active reward system during sleep in the manifestation of SRED.
Keywords: sleep, sleep-related eating disorder, reward processing, dreaming, parasomnias, mesolimbic dopaminergic system
Citation: Perogamvros L, Baud P, Hasler R, Cloninger CR, Schwartz S and Perrig S (2012) Active reward processing during human sleep: insights from sleep-related eating disorder. Front. Neur. 3:168. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00168
Received: 01 October 2012; Accepted: 06 November 2012;
Published online: 27 November 2012.
Edited by:Susan J. Sara, Collège de France, France
Reviewed by:Philippe Peigneux, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Copyright: © 2012 Perogamvros, Baud, Hasler, Cloninger, Schwartz and Perrig. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
*Correspondence: Lampros Perogamvros, Sleep Laboratory, Division of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Bel-Air 2, 1225 Geneva, Switzerland. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Sophie Schwartz, Department of Neuroscience, University of Geneva, Rue Michel Servet 1, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. e-mail: email@example.com