Study of heart rate variability in bipolar disorder: Linear and non-linear parameters during sleep Article uri icon


  • The aim of the study is to define physiological parameters and vital signs that may be related to the mood and mental status in patients affected by bipolar disorder. In particular we explored the autonomic nervous system through the analysis of the heart rate variability. Many different parameters, in the time and in the frequency domain, linear and non-linear were evaluated during the sleep in a group of normal subject and in one patient in four different conditions. The recording of the signals was performed through a wearable sensorized T-shirt. Heart rate variability (HRV) signal and movement analysis allowed also obtaining sleep staging and the estimation of REM sleep percentage over the total sleep time. A group of eight normal females constituted the control group, on which normality ranges were estimated. The pathologic subject was recorded during four different nights, at time intervals of at least 1 week, and during different phases of the disturbance. Some of the examined parameters (MEANNN, SDNN, RMSSD) confirmed reduced HRV in depression and bipolar disorder. REM sleep percentage was found to be increased. Lempel-Ziv complexity and sample entropy, on the other hand, seem to correlate with the depression level. Even if the number of examined subjects is still small, and the results need further validation, the proposed methodology and the calculated parameters seem promising tools for the monitoring of mood changes in psychiatric disorders. © 2012 Migliorini, Mendez and Bianchi.

publication date

  • 2012-01-01