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Mov Disord. 2006 Apr;21(4):473-8.

Rhythmic tongue movements during sleep: a peculiar parasomnia in Costello syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Unit of Sleep Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Catholic University, Rome, Italy. dellamarca@rm.unicatt.it


We describe a peculiar parasomnia observed in four Costello infants, characterized by periodic rhythmic movements of the tongue. Ten Costello patients (4 male; age range 9 months to 29 years) underwent 1 full-night laboratory-based video polysomnography. The four youngest patients (2 male and 2 female; age range 9-31 months) presented during sleep repeated stereotyped movements of the tongue, producing a sucking-like or licking-like movement, mostly during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Rhythmic tongue movements in Costello syndrome show the features of an NREM sleep parasomnia. Tongue movements during sleep probably originate from brainstem structures and could be facilitated by an impaired control of the oropharyngeal and tongue muscles.

Copyright 2005 Movement Disorder Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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