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Case Rep Neurol. 2013 Jan;5(1):14-7. doi: 10.1159/000346595. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Exploding head syndrome: a case report.

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Neurological Consultants Medical Group, Los Angeles County Medical Center, University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif., USA.



Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a rare parasomnia in which affected individuals awaken from sleep with the sensation of a loud bang. The etiology is unknown, but other conditions including primary and secondary headache disorders and nocturnal seizures need to be excluded.


A 57-year-old Indian male presented with four separate episodes of awakening from sleep at night after hearing a flashing sound on the right side of his head over the last 2 years. These events were described 'as if there are explosions in my head'. A neurologic examination, imaging studies, and a polysomnogram ensued, and the results led to the diagnosis of EHS.


EHS is a benign, uncommon, predominately nocturnal disorder that is self-limited. No treatment is generally required. Reassurance to the patient is often all that is needed.


Exploding head syndrome; Headache disorder; Parasomnia

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