Cases reported "Parasomnias"

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1/12. parasomnias. Managing bizarre sleep-related behavior disorders.

    Sleep can be a troubling experience for persons plagued by nocturnal disorders known as parasomnias. While they are "asleep," such persons may be walking, screaming in terror, rearranging furniture, eating odd food concoctions, or wielding weapons. Or they may be unable to fall asleep because of the unpleasant sensations of restless legs syndrome. Although these disorders are indeed bizarre, effective treatments are available. In this article, Drs Schenck and Mahowald discuss the evaluation and treatment of parasomnias and provide illustrative patient vignettes from their extensive experience at a sleep disorders center. ( info)

2/12. Catathrenia (nocturnal groaning): a new type of parasomnia.

    Four patients between 15 and 25 years of age presented with exclusively expiratory groaning during sleep. Groaning usually occurred during the second part of the night, beginning at age 5 to 16 years. patients were unaware of the nocturnal noise, but it alarmed others. Results of otorhinolaryngologic and neurologic examinations were normal. Expiratory groaning arose during REM and non-REM sleep stage 2, and was repeated in clusters. Nocturnal groaning, which the authors term catathrenia, represents a distinctive parasomnia. ( info)

3/12. Benign parasomnias and nocturnal frontal epilepsy: differential diagnosis in a case report.

    We report the case of a 13-year-old boy who complained of complex motor episodes during sleep characterized by sudden arousal followed by deambulation associated with automatic movements and vocalization. His family history included both epileptic and psychiatric disorders. The patient himself presented psychopathologic traits and adaptive difficulties. In support of an epileptic origin of these phenomena were the stereotyped fashion in which they appeared and their responsiveness to carbamazepine. We classified the present case as a nocturnal frontal epilepsy with variable manifestations that can be classified as paroxysmal arousals, paroxysmal dystonia, and epileptic nocturnal wanderings. It was possible to differentiate such events from the most common parasomnias on the basis of videopolysomnographic studies. ( info)

4/12. Propriospinal myoclonus at the sleep-wake transition: a new type of parasomnia.

    STUDY OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical, neurophysiological, and polysomnographic characteristics of propriospinal myoclonus (PSM) at the sleep-wake transition. DESIGN: patients referred for insomnia due to myoclonic activity arising during relaxed wakefulness preceding sleep, or complaining of muscular jerks also during intrasleep wakefulness and upon awakening in the morning were considered. SETTING: All patients underwent EEG-EMG recordings during wakefulness and night sleep. back-averaging of the EEG activity preceding the jerks was performed. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and spinal and cranial MRI were also done. PARTICIPANTS: Four patients were studied all affected with involuntary jerks arising when falling asleep, and one with jerks also during sleep and upon awakening in the morning. INTERVENTIONS: N/A. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Polysomnographic investigations revealed jerks arising during the sleep-wake transition period. Myoclonic activity was neurophysiologically documented to be of the propriospinal type. SEPs, TMS and MRI were normal CONCLUSIONS: PSM may have a peculiar relationship with the state of vigilance and represent a sleep-wake transition disorder. In this regard we consider PSM a new type of parasomnia. ( info)

5/12. Polysomnographic assessment of spells in sleep: nocturnal seizures versus parasomnias.

    A dilemma can arise when attempting to distinguish a nocturnal seizure from a parasomnia because both phenomena can be characterized by a general increase in motor and autonomic activity with a transient reduction in the level of consciousness. An additional problem is that an accurate clinical diagnosis generally relies heavily on a detailed history. As sleep related disorders occur at a time when the patient is not fully cognizant, polysomnographic analysis can on occasion supplement for the intrinsic paucity of detailed history. Simultaneously, correlating the clinical and polysomnographic analysis immediately prior to, during, and following an event of interest, can be helpful in differentiating nocturnal seizures from parasomnias. ( info)

6/12. Cluster headaches simulating parasomnias.

    Nocturnal episodes of agitated arousal in otherwise healthy young children are often related to nonrapid eye movement parasomnias (night terrors). However, in patients with acute onset or increased frequency of parasomnias, organic causes of discomfort must be excluded. We report four young children whose parasomnias were caused by nocturnal cluster headaches and who responded to indomethacin dramatically. ( info)

7/12. The misinterpretation of a non-REM sleep parasomnia as suicidal behavior in an adolescent.

    We report a case of misinterpretation of a non-REM sleep parasomnia as suicidal behavior in an early adolescent. A 12-year-old female with a history of sleepwalking but no prior psychiatric diagnosis awoke in the middle of the night with a deep laceration to her neck and complete amnesia for the event. During the initial 2-week pediatric hospitalization, it was believed that the wound was intentionally self-inflicted despite patient claims and evidence to the contrary. The patient was placed on a psychiatric hold and transferred to an appropriate facility. We review rule-out diagnoses and evidence supporting this case as an example of a violent non-REM parasomnia resulting in self-injurious behavior. Diagnostic and treatment implications are discussed. ( info)

8/12. Sexsomnia--a new parasomnia?

    OBJECTIVE: To describe a distinct parasomnia involving sexual behaviour, which we have named sexsomnia. METHOD: We have used a case series as a basis for the description of sexsomina. RESULTS: Eleven patients with distinct behaviours of the sexual nature during sleep are described. The features in common with other nonrapid eye movement arousal parasomnias, such as sleepwalking are documented. Some patients had simply been referred to a tertiary sleep clinic for investigation of unrelated sleep problems. A small number had been involved in medicolegal issues. Sexsomnia has some distinct features that separate it from sleepwalking. The automatic arousal is more prominent, motor activities are relatively restricted and specific, and some form of dream mentation is often present. CONCLUSIONS: A significant number of patients with this unusual parasomnia behaviour were identified only after specific questions were asked, suggesting that the behaviour is more common than previously thought. ( info)

9/12. Parasomnia pseudo-suicide.

    Complex behaviors arising from the sleep period may result in violent or injurious consequences, even death. Those resulting in death may be erroneously deemed suicides. A series of case examples and review of the pertinent literature are provided to increase awareness of the possibility that some apparent "suicides" are the unfortunate, but unintentional, consequence of sleep-related complex behaviors and therefore are without premeditation, conscious awareness, or personal responsibility. The correct cause-of-death determination in such cases may have profound social, religious, and insurance implications for surviving friends and family members. ( info)

10/12. Treatment of sleep and nighttime disturbances in Alzheimer's disease: a behavior management approach.

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSES: Sleep and nighttime behavioral disturbances are widespread in community-dwelling dementia patients, but little is known about the usefulness of behavioral interventions for treating them. This article presents data from three cases enrolled in an ongoing study of sleep problems in community-dwelling Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients: nighttime insomnia treatment and education for Alzheimer's disease. patients AND methods: All subjects received written materials describing age- and dementia-related changes in sleep, and standard principles of good sleep hygiene. caregivers also received education about dementia, listings of relevant community resources, and general support. Subjects' sleep-wake activity was measured at baseline, post-test (2 months), and 6-month follow-up using an Actillume wrist-movement recorder, which was worn continuously for 1 week. RESULTS: Post-test actigraphic improvements in sleep quantity and sleep efficiency, number of nighttime awakenings, and amount of daytime sleep, as well as subjective sleep ratings were observed. One subject maintained improvements at 6-month follow-up. Subjects varied widely in the type of sleep problems reported and behavioral strategies implemented by family caregivers, illustrating the complexity that characterizes nighttime behavioral disturbances in AD. CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides clinical and empirical evidences that behavioral strategies including standard sleep hygiene recommendations can be helpful in treating sleep and nighttime behavioral disturbances in dementia patients. ( info)
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