Periodic leg movements during sleep and cerebral hemodynamic changes detected by NIRS

Fabio Pizza, Martin Biallas, Martin Wolf, Philipp O. Valko, Claudio L. Bassetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS) have been shown to be associated with changes in autonomic and hemispheric activities. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) assesses hemodynamic changes linked to hemispheric/cortical activity. We applied NIRS to test whether cerebral hemodynamic alterations accompany PLMS. Methods: Three PLMS patients underwent nocturnal polysomnography coupled with cerebral NIRS. EEG correlates of PLMS were scored and NIRS data were analysed for the identification of correspondent hemodynamic changes. Results: PLMS were constantly associated with cerebral hemodynamic fluctuations that showed greater amplitude when associated to changes in EEG and were present also in absence of any visually detectable arousal or A phase in the EEG. Conclusion: This is the first study documenting cerebral hemodynamic changes linked to PLMS. Significance: The clinical relevance of these observations remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1334
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Arousal
  • Cyclic alternating pattern
  • Hemodynamics
  • Near infra-red spectroscopy
  • Periodic leg movements during sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems

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