Modulation of the Muscle Activity During Sleep in Cervical Dystonia

Elena Antelmi, Raffaele Ferri, Cesa M L Scaglione, Francesco Rundo, Margherita Fabbri, Paolo Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Impaired sleep has been reported as an important nonmotor feature in dystonia, but so far, self-reported complaints have never been compared with nocturnal video-polysomnographic (PSG) recording, which is the gold standard to assess sleep-related disorders.

Methods: Twenty patients with idiopathic isolated cervical dystonia and 22 healthy controls (HC) underwent extensive clinical investigations, neurological examination, and questionnaire screening for excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep-related disorders. A full-night video PSG was performed in both patients and HC. An ad hoc montage, adding electromyographic leads over the muscle affected with dystonia, was used.

Results: When compared to controls, patients showed significantly increased pathological values on the scale assessing self-reported complaints of impaired nocturnal sleep. Higher scores of impaired nocturnal sleep did not correlate with any clinical descriptors but for a weak correlation with higher scores on the scale for depression. On video-PSG, patients had significantly affected sleep architecture (with decreased sleep efficiency and increased sleep latency). Activity over cervical muscles disappears during all the sleep stages, reaching significantly decreased values when compared to controls both in nonrapid eye movements and rapid eye movements sleep.

Conclusions: Patients with cervical dystonia reported poor sleep quality and showed impaired sleep architecture. These features however cannot be related to the persistence of muscle activity over the cervical muscles, which disappears in all the sleep stages, reaching significantly decreased values when compared to HC.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Journal Article


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