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Sleep. 2007 Aug;30(8):980-9.

Insufficient non-REM sleep intensity in narcolepsy-cataplexy.

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  • 1Department ofNeurology, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To compare electroencephalogram (EEG) dynamics during nocturnal sleep in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy and healthy controls. Fragmented nocturnal sleep is a prominent feature and contributes to excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy-cataplexy. Only 3 studies have addressed changes in homeostatic sleep regulation as a possible mechanism underlying nocturnal sleep fragmentation in narcolepsy-cataplexy.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Baseline sleep of 11 drug-naive patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy (19-37 years) and 11 matched controls (18-41 years) was polysomnographically recorded. The EEG was subjected to spectral analysis.

INTERVENTIONS:

None, baseline condition.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

All patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy but no control subjects showed a sleep-onset rapid eye movement (REM) episode. Non-REM (NREM)-REM sleep cycles were longer in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy than in controls (P = 0.04). Mean slow-wave activity declined in both groups across the first 3 NREM sleep episodes (P<0.001). The rate of decline, however, appeared to be steeper in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy (time constant: narcolepsy-cataplexy 51.1 +/- 23.8 minutes [mean +/- SEM], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 33.4-108.8 minutes) than in controls (169.4 +/- 81.5 minutes, 95% CI: 110.9-357.6 minutes) as concluded from nonoverlapping 95% confidence interval of the time constants. The steeper decline of SWA in narcolepsy-cataplexy compared to controls was related to an impaired build-up of slow-wave activity in the second cycle. Sleep in the second cycle was interrupted in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy, when compared with controls, by an increased number (P = 0.01) and longer duration (P = 0.01) of short wake episodes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Insufficient NREM sleep intensity is associated with nonconsolidated nocturnal sleep in narcolepsy-cataplexy. The inability to consolidate sleep manifests itself when NREM sleep intensity has decayed below a certain level and is reflected in an altered time course of slow-wave activity across NREM sleep episodes.

PMID:
17702267
PMCID:
PMC1978383
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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