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Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Mar;26(3):405-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Sleep and epilepsy: exploring an intriguing relationship with a translational approach.

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Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The relationship between sleep and epilepsy has been well established. There is a high prevalence of sleep disturbances in epilepsy, which are associated with a decreased quality of life of individuals with epilepsy. In view of this fact, preclinical research is necessary to address many gaps in knowledge. For instance, it is well known that sleep deprivation can trigger seizures; however, this is a complex pathophysiological event. In this context, there are many valuable animal models of epilepsy that reproduce clinical symptoms and can be used. Investigations using animal models that simulate clinical epilepsy are imperative. Furthermore, preclinical studies that reveal mechanisms related to sleep-epilepsy interactions are very important. Results of such studies can, in turn, improve the understanding of epilepsy itself and can be useful in developing new antiepileptic drugs and preventive measures to control seizures. Preclinical research should be performed using a translational framework with experimental designs that can lead to advances in the quality of life of individuals with epilepsy. In view of the fact that more than 50 million of people are affected by epilepsy around the world, understanding the relationship between sleep and epilepsy is imperative.

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