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Epilepsia. 2000 Sep;41(9):1221-6.

Pavor nocturnus of proven epileptic origin.

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Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To evaluate the suspected epileptic origin in children with episodes masquerading as sleep terrors.


One such child was investigated with scalp-derived long-term monitoring (LTM), inter and ictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans, and an invasive LTM, followed by surgical subpial slicing of the focally discharging motor cortex.


The scalp-derived LTM and the SPECT scans did not localize the suspected epileptogenic focus. The invasive LTM revealed the focal onset of the ictal discharge. After the surgery, the seizures have been 90% controlled. No deficits resulted from the surgery.


Although most nocturnal terrors (NTs) are parasomnias, in a few children their frequent episodes that masquerade as NTs have an epileptic origin. There are several features to distinguish these from common NTs or from other frontal lobe epilepsies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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