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Arch Neurol. 2006 May;63(5):705-9.

Distinguishing sleep disorders from seizures: diagnosing bumps in the night.

Author information

1
Epilepsy Research Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Arch Neurol. 2006 Jul;63(7):1037.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Abnormal paroxysmal events in sleep may be parasomnias or epileptic seizures. In nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE), the unusual seizure features often lead to diagnostic confusion with nonepileptic parasomnias; video-electroencephalography monitoring is usually required to make the diagnosis.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the reliability of the clinical history in diagnosing NFLE, using the Frontal Lobe Epilepsy and Parasomnias (FLEP) scale.

DESIGN:

The FLEP scale, comprising specific questions reflecting the diagnostic features of NFLE and parasomnias, was developed by an expert panel following review of the literature. It was then validated in a sample of individuals with firmly diagnosed nocturnal events.

SETTING:

Patients were recruited after appropriate diagnostic workup in tertiary sleep and epilepsy referral centers in Melbourne, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-two patients (45 males) [corrected] with paroxysmal nocturnal events. Intervention Two independent interviews were conducted in each case, with the patient and a witness, by researchers blinded to the diagnosis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The diagnosis obtained from scores on the FLEP scale was compared with the confirmed diagnosis in each patient.

RESULTS:

Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy was correctly diagnosed from the FLEP score in 31 of 31 patients, with a sensitivity of 1.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-1.00), specificity of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.73-0.97), positive predictive value of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.75-0.97), and negative predictive value of 1.00 (95% CI, 0.85-1.00).

CONCLUSIONS:

A diagnosis of NFLE can be made reliably using the clinical features identified in the FLEP scale. This may reduce the requirement for tertiary referral and extensive inpatient monitoring.

PMID:
16682539
DOI:
10.1001/archneur.63.5.705
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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