Modulation of sleep interictal epileptiform discharges in partial epilepsy of childhood

L. Nobili, M. G. Baglietto, M. Beelke, F. De Carli, E. De Negri, G. Rosadini, M. De Negri, F. Ferrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: NREM sleep increases the Interictal Epileptic Discharges (IEDs) in the majority of children affected by partial epilepsy (both symptomatic or cryptogenetic). Experimental data revealed that the normal sleep oscillations, leading to the appearance of spindles and delta waves on the surface EEG during NREM sleep, might develop into paroxysmal synchronization. Spectral analysis enables the quantitative description of the dynamics of delta (slow wave activity, SWA, 0.5-4.5 Hz) and sigma activity (SA, 12.0-16.0 Hz) and can be used to assess the relationship between SA, SWA and IEDs during sleep. Design and methods: We have performed overnight continuous EEG-polysomnographic studies in 7 patients (mean age 7.2 ± 1.3). The temporal series of SWA and SA were obtained from a spike-free derivation lead. The IEDs count was performed on the most active lead. Relationships between sigma and SWA and time series of IEDs were tested by means of correlation techniques after data normalization. Results: Our results revealed a significant higher correlation between IEDs and SA with respect to SWA in all the subjects, in total sleep time. The same analysis limited to NREM sleep highlights the better correlation between SA and IEDs. Conclusions: Our data suggest that the neural mechanisms involved in the generation of sleep spindles facilitate the IEDs production in childhood partial epilepsies at least in those strongly activated by sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-845
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1999


  • Sleep
  • Spectral analysis
  • Spindles
  • Symptomatic partial epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems

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