Reduced NREM sleep instability in benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes

Pediatric Sleep Center, Department Developmental Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 3.1). 05/2010; 121(5):665-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2009.12.027
Source: PubMed


To analyze sleep architecture and NREM sleep instability by means of the cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) in children with benign epilepsy with rolandic spikes (BERS).
Ten children with BERS, drug free at the time of the study and 10 age-matched normal controls were included in this study. Sleep was visually scored for sleep architecture and CAP using standard criteria.
Sleep architecture in BERS showed only few significant differences vs. controls with a reduction of total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and REM sleep percentage. CAP analysis revealed several significant differences: reduced total CAP rate, mainly in sleep stage 2, and reduced EEG slow oscillations and arousals during stages N1 and N2.
Sleep architecture is not importantly affected in BERS but CAP analysis reveals a decrease of NREM instability, mainly in sleep stage 2. Since there is a spindle-related spike activation in BERS, we speculate that the decrease of CAP and of EEG slow oscillations and arousals might be linked with the inhibitory action of spindling activity and spikes on arousals.
CAP analysis discloses sleep structure abnormalities in children with BERS not shown by the classical sleep scoring. Spike activity and CAP A1 subtypes seem to be mutually exclusive probably because centro-temporal spikes disturb the physiological synchronization mechanisms needed for the generation of slow-wave components of CAP.

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    • "In last years, a study performed in children with BECTS suggested a normal sleep organization and the number of arousals was not increased (Clemens & Olah, 1987). More recently, Bruni et al. (2010) analyzed sleep architecture and NREM sleep instability by evaluating the cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) in children with BECTS. They studied ten drug free patients and ten age-matched normal controls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Benign Epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is considered a benign type of epilepsy; nevertheless a significant number of children present clear and heterogeneous cognitive deficits such as memory disturbances. Thus far, evidence about memory impairment has been less than conclusive. To clarify the quality of memory functioning in BECTS children, an analysis of existing findings has been conducted trying to identify the type of memory deficits and their underlying factors. Short- and long-term declarative memory are impaired in BECTS children, with both verbal and non-verbal material; co-occurrence of attentional, linguistic and behavioral disturbances is reported. In children with continuous spikes and waves during the slow-wave sleep pattern the normal downscaling of slow-wave activity is absent, disrupting plastic brain processes of sleep-related memory consolidation. In BECTS children, NREM sleep interictal epileptiform discharges (IED) may interfere in the dialogue between temporal and frontal cortex, causing declarative memory deficits: the role of NREM sleep IED acquires a special importance, leading to methodological guidance and suggesting aims for future researches in the field of childhood neuroscience.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Brain and Cognition
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    • "One of the possible neurochemical substrates could be the increase in GABA-ergic transmission [37], a mechanism invoked to explain the effect of direct vagal nerve stimulation [38]. Further corroborating evidence comes from a recent report of reduced cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) rate in patients with RE [39]. Cyclic alternating pattern rate is an index of sleep instability and is positively correlated with predominance of sympathetic drive [40]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated 50 young patients with a diagnosis of Rolandic Epilepsy (RE) for the presence of abnormalities in autonomic tone compared with 50 young patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy with absences and 50 typically developing children of comparable age. We analyzed time domain (N-N interval, pNN50) and frequency domain (High Frequency (HF), Low Frequency (LF) and LF/HF ratio) indices from ten-minute resting EKG activity. Patients with RE showed significantly higher HF and lower LF power and lower LF/HF ratio than controls, independent of the epilepsy group, and did not show significant differences in any other autonomic index with respect to the two control groups. In RE, we found a negative relationship between both seizure load and frequency of sleep interictal EEG abnormalities with parasympathetic drive levels. These changes might be the expression of adaptive mechanisms to prevent the excessive sympathetic drive seen in patients with refractory epilepsies.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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