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J Clin Neurophysiol. 2000 Jan;17(1):77-86.

The macrostructure and microstructure of sleep in patients with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Sleep Disorders Center, Department of Neurology, University of Milano School of Medicine, Istituto Scientifico H San Raffaele, Italy.


The electroclinical features of autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy have been recently described. Although some patients reported a poor quality of sleep, daytime tiredness, and sleepiness, their sleep macrostructure appeared to be indistinguishable from those of the control group. The aim of this study was to evaluate the macro- and microstructure of sleep in a sample of autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy patients, diagnosed by videopolysomnography. The authors selected 16 patients, 8 with daytime complaints (morning tiredness and/or excessive sleepiness) (group 1) and 8 without those complaints (group 2). The classical macrostructure of sleep and the microstructure, according to the cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) scoring rules, were compared with another group of 8 healthy controls. In group 1 the motor attacks during sleep took place more frequently during CAP and were significantly related to phase A of the CAP cycle in comparison to group 2 (P = 0.04). Group 2 had a sleep microstructure similar to the controls, whereas group 1 showed higher CAP/nonrapid eye movement sleep (CAP rate) and a higher number of CAP cycles with respect to controls (P = 0.012 and P = 0.001) and to group 2 (P = 0.05 and P = 0.04). The analysis of sleep microstructure showed an increase in sleep instability in patients with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy and daytime sleep complaints and indicated the relationship between sleep fragmentation, nocturnal motor seizures, and daytime symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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