Sleep in subjects with autistic disorder

A neurophysiological and psychological study

Maurizio Elia, Raffaele Ferri, Sebastiano A. Musumeci, Stefano Del Gracco, Maria Bottitta, Carmela Scuderi, Giuseppe Miano, Simonetta Panerai, Thierry Bertrand, Jean Claude Grubar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polysomnography (EOG, EEG, EMG) was carried out in 17 male children and adolescents with autistic disorder, in seven patients with mental retardation and fragile X syndrome, and in five age- and sex-matched normal male subjects. Density of rapid eye movements was not significantly different in the three groups of subjects; however, some sleep parameters such as time in bed, sleep period time, and total sleep time were significantly lower in subjects with autistic disorder than in normal controls; moreover, patients with autistic disorder showed values of sleep period time, first REM latency and percent (%) sleep stage 1 lower than those of patients with fragile X syndrome with mental retardation. Density of muscle twitches was significantly higher in patients with autistic disorder than in normal controls. In contrast only minor differences were observed between patients with autistic disorder and those with fragile X syndrome with mental retardation. Furthermore, some psychoeducational profile-revised items such as perception and eye-hand coordination, showed significant correlation with some sleep parameters (time in bed, sleep latency, stage shifts, first REM latency and wakefulness after sleep onset). Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores to visual response and non-verbal communication showed significant correlation with some tonic sleep parameters, such as sleep period time, wakefulness after sleep onset, and total sleep time. Relating to people and activity level items were found to be significantly correlated with rapid eye movement density. Our results suggest the existence of a sleep pattern in autistic patients different from that observed in subjects with mental retardation and from that of normal controls. In addition, these findings indicate that sleep parameters in these patients are correlated with some psychological indices generally used for the diagnosis of autistic disorder; for this reason, polysomnographies might be useful in the comprehension of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this condition. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalBrain and Development
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2000

Fingerprint

Autistic Disorder
Sleep
Psychology
Fragile X Syndrome
Polysomnography
Wakefulness
Sleep Stages
REM Sleep
Electrooculography
Intellectual Disability
Electroencephalography
Hand
Communication
Muscles

Keywords

  • Autistic disorder
  • Childhood Autism Rating Scale
  • Psychoeducational profile-revised test
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Sleep
  • Twitches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology

Cite this

Sleep in subjects with autistic disorder : A neurophysiological and psychological study. / Elia, Maurizio; Ferri, Raffaele; Musumeci, Sebastiano A.; Del Gracco, Stefano; Bottitta, Maria; Scuderi, Carmela; Miano, Giuseppe; Panerai, Simonetta; Bertrand, Thierry; Grubar, Jean Claude.

In: Brain and Development, Vol. 22, No. 2, 14.03.2000, p. 88-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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