Insomnia in neurological diseases

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Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint. Insomnia is not a disease itself but mostly a clinical sign of an underlying disease. Degenerative and vascular diseases involving the central nervous system (CNS) may impair sleep either as a result of the brain lesion or because of illness-related discomfort (motor immobility, social and familial impairment, depression, drugs). Some neurological conditions characterized by movement disorders that start or persist during sleep hinder sleep onset and/or sleep continuity, causing a poor sleep complaint. CNS lesions and/or dysfunction in three specific neurological conditions (fatal familial insomnia, Morvan's chorea, and delirium tremens) impair the basic mechanisms of sleep generation inducing a syndrome in which the inability to sleep is consistently associated with motor and sympathergic overactivation. Agrypnia excitata is the term that aptly defines this generalized overactivation syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Agrypnia excitata
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Fatal familial insomnia
  • Insomnia
  • Movement disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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