The authors studied the effects of oral loading with 5-HTP on REM
fragmentation in a group of alcoholics who were abstinent following acute
ethanol withdrawal. Decreased fragmentation was found in the majority of
subjects, and those subjects with low baseline REM efficiency (i.e.,
greater fragmentation) showed more improvement from the drug than did
subjects who were less impaired initially. The authors suggest that there
is an organic decrement of serotonin during ethanol withdrawal which is
partially reversed by 5-HTP loading.