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J Neurol. 2004 Nov;251(11):1354-63.

EEG-tomographic studies with LORETA on vigilance differences between narcolepsy patients and controls and subsequent double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with modafinil.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.


The aim of the present study was to identify brain regions associated with vigilance in untreated and modafinil-treated narcoleptic patients by means of low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). 16 drug-free narcoleptics and 16 normal controls were included in the baseline investigation. Subsequently patients participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study receiving a three-week fixed titration of modafinil (200, 300, 400 mg) and placebo. Measurements comprised LORETA, the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) obtained before and after three weeks' therapy. Statistical overall analysis by means of the omnibus significance test demonstrated significant inter-group differences in the resting (R-EEG), but not in the vigilance-controlled recordings (V-EEG). Subsequent univariate analysis revealed a decrease in alpha-2 and beta 1-3 power in prefrontal, temporal and parietal cortices, with the right hemisphere slightly more involved in this vigilance decrement. Modafinil 400 mg/d as compared with placebo induced changes opposite to the aforementioned baseline differences (key-lock principle) with a preponderance in the left hemisphere. This increase in vigilance resulted in an improvement in the MSLT and the ESS. LORETA provided evidence of a functional deterioration of the fronto-temporo-parietal network of the right-hemispheric vigilance system in narcolepsy and a therapeutic effect of modafinil on the left hemisphere, which is less affected by the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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