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Epilepsia. 2009 Aug;50 Suppl 7:33-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02216.x.

Neurophysiology of CSWS-associated cognitive dysfunction.

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Wellcome Laboratory for MEG Studies, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The phenomenon of continuous spikes and waves during slow-wave sleep (CSWS) is associated with a number of epileptic syndromes, which share a behavioral phenotype characterized by deterioration of cognitive, behavioral, or sensorimotor functions. Available evidence seems to suggest that spike-wave activity is a result of a complex interaction between cortical and subcortical inhibitory networks and can "per se" produce a transient loss of underlying cortical functions. Syndromes like Landau-Kleffner syndrome, CSWS, and phenomena such as negative myoclonus could share in common--at least at the neurophysiological level--some similarities. Differences in behavioral phenotypes could be explained in term of maturational and genetic differences, as well as by the functional specificity of the involved areas.

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