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Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Mar;20(3):435-40. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2010.12.047. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

A role for sleep disruption in cognitive impairment in children with epilepsy.

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Neurosciences Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


Early-onset epilepsy is associated with a poor cognitive outcome, with the cumulative burden of both ictal and interictal epileptiform discharges likely to contribute significantly. Memory consolidation has been shown to occur during sleep in healthy children, with an associated electroencephalographic signature. This may be disrupted in children with epilepsy, who exhibit a high incidence of sleep disorders, whether directly related to their seizures or as a comorbidity. Conversely, seizure semiology may be influenced by sleep. In this review we present clinical and experimental evidence that suggests that the disruption of sleep architecture by epileptiform discharges may be an important factor contributing to cognitive impairment in children with epilepsy.

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