Sleep-related epilepsy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


There is a reciprocal relationship between sleep and epilepsy, with sleep and sleep disorders affecting seizures and interictal discharges (IDs), and seizures and IDs during sleep affecting sleep itself, modifying sleep microstructures more than they do the classical sleep architecture. The proportion of patients who have seizures occurring either exclusively or predominantly during sleep ranges between 7.5% and 45%, and nocturnal seizures have a tendency to recur nocturnally with stability over time. Moreover, seizures entrained to a specific sleep-wake rhythm or state (sleep/arousal) usually seem to respond better to treatment than do randomly timed seizures.The mechanisms involved in the close relationship between sleep and seizures include nonrapid eye movement (NREM) synchronization of the electroencephalographic waves, arousal and awakening from sleep, microstructure oscillation and regulation, circadian and ultradian factors influencing sleep-wake rhythms, and anatomical localization of the epileptogenic zone. Among epilepsies, some types of epileptic syndrome have a marked tendency to manifest only or predominantly during sleep: nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes, early-onset or late-onset childhood occipital epilepsy, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, generalized tonic-clonic seizures on awakening, a subgroup of temporal lobe epilepsy, tonic seizures (as a component of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome), continuous spikes waves during NREM sleep, and Landau-Kleffner syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)00729752

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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