Bilateral paramedian thalamic syndrome: Abnormal circadian wake-sleep and autonomic functions

P. Montagna, F. Provini, G. Plazzi, R. Vetrugno, R. Gallassi, G. Pierangeli, M. Ragno, P. Cortelli, D. Perani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To describe wake-sleep and body core temperature (t°) rhythm abnormalities in two patients with bilateral paramedian thalamic calcifications. Methods: Patients underwent (18F)FDG PET scans and 24 hour polygraphic recordings of wake-sleep and t°. Results: PET showed bilateral thalamic hypometabolism in both patients with additional basal ganglia or mesiolateral frontal and cingular hypometabolism. Wake-sleep studies showed abnormal sleep organisation and in the case with frontal and limbic PET hypometabolism, pre-sleep behaviour associated with "subwakefulness" EEG activities, lack of EEG spindles and K complexes, and features of status dissociatus. The t° rhythms showed increased mesor in both (37.4°C and 37.75°C) and inverted rhythm in one patient. Conclusions: Paramedian thalamic structures and interconnected, especially frontal and cingular, areas play a part in the organisation of the wake-sleep cycle and attendant autonomic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-774
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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