Parasomnias and nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE)

Lights and shadows - Controversial points in the differential diagnosis

Francesca Bisulli, Luca Vignatelli, Federica Provini, Chiara Leta, Elio Lugaresi, Paolo Tinuper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE) is characterized by seizures with complex, often bizarre, violent behaviour arising only or mainly during sleep. These unusual seizures and their occurrence during sleep are often accompanied by normal EEG tracings and neuroradiological findings, making it difficult to distinguish NFLE seizures from other non-epileptic nocturnal paroxysmal events, namely parasomnias. NFLE was described for the first time in 1981, but, as its epileptic origin was controversial, the condition was called nocturnal paroxysmal dystonia. Even though many aspects of parasomnias and NFLE have been clarified in the last two decades, the problem of differential diagnosis remains a challenge for clinicians. This paper discusses some controversial points still under debate. The difficulties in distinguishing nocturnal epileptic seizures from parasomnias reflect just one aspect of the intriguing issue of the pathophysiological relationships between all types of paroxysmal motor behaviours during sleep.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume12
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint

Frontal Lobe Epilepsy
Parasomnias
Differential Diagnosis
Light
Sleep
Seizures
Nocturnal Paroxysmal Dystonia
Electroencephalography
Epilepsy

Keywords

  • Differential diagnosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Parasomnias
  • Seizures during sleep
  • Video-polysomnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Parasomnias and nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE) : Lights and shadows - Controversial points in the differential diagnosis. / Bisulli, Francesca; Vignatelli, Luca; Provini, Federica; Leta, Chiara; Lugaresi, Elio; Tinuper, Paolo.

In: Sleep Medicine, Vol. 12, No. SUPPL. 2, 12.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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