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Sleep and Epilepsy

Edited by Federica Provini

© [M] from Baldini et al, Frontiers in Neurology 2019, doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00526​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​The spectrum of complex motor behaviors that can occur during sleep is wide. These phenomena include epileptic seizures and parasomnias both from non-rapid eye movement (NREM) such as  disorders of arousal (DOA) and from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep such as REM sleep behavior disorders (RBD).

The syndrome previously known as nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, recently named sleep-related hypermotor epilepsy (SHE), is recognized worldwide and has been studied in a wide range of clinical and scientific settings (epilepsy, sleep medicine, neurosurgery, pediatric neurology, epidemiology, genetics). Though uncommon, it is of considerable interest to practicing neurologists because of the complexity in differential diagnosis from more common parasomnias.

NREM sleep parasomnias are fascinating disorders presenting with a variety of bizarre behaviors and motor activity. They include sleepwalking, sleep terrors and confusional arousals - collectively termed disorders of arousal (DOA) - as well as less well-known entities such as sleep-related sexual behaviors and eating disorders. These conditions are common and sometimes severe, with social, personal and forensic implications. The diagnostic distinction between epileptic and non-epileptic behaviors arising from sleep may represent a significant challenge also for sleep specialists.

This collection of articles in Sleep Science and Practice aims to present in detail the most recent advances in the clinical and semiological features description of sleep-related epileptic and non-epileptic motor behaviors emphasizing the crucial role of video-polysomnography for their differential diagnosis. In these articles, we critically review the major findings and updates on SHE and DOA, offering an overview of new clinical frontiers and promising future research areas.

Further submissions of research and review articles, as well as commentaries on the topic are encouraged, please submit here.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal's standard peer-review process overseen by the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors. The Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. Disorders of Arousal  (DOA) are mental and motor behaviors arising from NREM sleep. They comprise a spectrum of manifestations of increasing intensity from confusional arousals to sleep terrors to sleepwalking.

    Authors: Giuseppe Loddo, Régis Lopez, Rosalia Cilea, Yves Dauvilliers and Federica Provini

    Citation: Sleep Science and Practice 2019 3:5

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

  2. Violent behavior during sleep is a common problem, affecting > 2% of the population > 15 years old as found in two large epidemiologic studies. The differential diagnosis of sleep related injury and violence i...

    Authors: Carlos H. Schenck

    Citation: Sleep Science and Practice 2019 3:2

    Content type: Review

    Published on: