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Nonlinear dynamical systems effects of homeopathic remedies on multiscale entropy and correlation dimension of slow wave sleep EEG in young adults with histories of coffee-induced insomnia

Bell IR, Howerter A, Jackson N, Aickin M, Bootzin RR. Nonlinear dynamical systems effects of homeopathic remedies on multiscale entropy and correlation dimension of slow wave sleep EEG in young adults with histories of coffee-induced insomnia.  Homeopathy 2012, 101(3):182–192.

BACKGROUND: Investigators of homeopathy have proposed that nonlinear dynamical systems(NDS) and complex systems science offer conceptual and analytic tools for evaluatinghomeopathic remedy effects. Previous animal studies demonstrate that homeopathic medicines alter delta electroencephalographic (EEG) slow wave sleep. The present study extended findings of remedy-related sleep stage alterations in human subjects by testing the feasibility of using two different NDS analytic approaches to assess remedy effects on human slow wave sleep EEG.

METHODS:

Subjects (N=54) were young adult male and female college students with a history of coffee-related insomnia who participated in a larger 4-week study of the polysomnographic effectsof homeopathic medicines on home-based all-night sleep recordings. Subjects took one bedtime dose of a homeopathic remedy (Coffea cruda or Nux vomica 30c). We computed multiscale entropy (MSE) and the correlation dimension (Mekler-D2) for stages 3 and 4 slow wave sleep EEG sampled in artifact-free 2-min segments during the first two rapid-eye-movement (REM) cycles for remedy and post-remedy nights, controlling for placebo and post-placebo night effects.

RESULTS:

MSE results indicate significant, remedy-specific directional effects, especially later in the night (REM cycle 2) (CC: remedy night increases and post-remedy night decreases in MSE at multiple sites for both stages 3 and 4 in both REM cycles; NV: remedy night decreases and post-remedy night increases, mainly in stage 3 REM cycle 2 MSE). D2 analyses yielded more sporadic and inconsistent findings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Homeopathic medicines Coffea cruda and Nux vomica in 30c potencies alter short-term nonlinear dynamic parameters of slow wave sleep EEG in healthy young adults. MSE may provide a more sensitive NDS analytic method than D2 for evaluating homeopathic remedyeffects on human sleep EEG patterns.