Sleep Deprivation Used To Diagnose Sleepwalking

Somnambulism (sleepwalking), which usually deals with misinterpretation and unresponsiveness to the environment, mental confusion and amnesia about sleepwalking episodes, affects up to 4 percent of adults. There has been a sharp increase in the number of studies on sleep walking too aggressive and harmful behavior, including murders, but unlike the majority of sleep disorders, sleep walking diagnosed on the basis of clinical patient history, as there is no proven method of confirming the diagnosis .

Although clinical reports have suggested that sleep deprivation can cause sleepwalking in predisposed patients, small studies using this method in the laboratory have shown mixed results. A new, graere study found that sleep deprivation can sleepwalking precipitation in predisposed individuals, and can therefore be seen as a valuable tool in the diagnosis of this disease. The study is in the Annals of Neurology (, the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Antonio Zadra of the Universit� de Montr�al, Qu�bec, Canada, the study included 40 patients at a clinic for sleep disorders suspected sleepwalking between August 2003 and March 2007. All patients were examined and underwent a night to sleep recording of the bottom line in the laboratory. The next day they went about their regular daily activities, after their return from the lab in the evening, where they are constantly monitored to ensure that they do not fall asleep. Recovery was sleeping the next morning, after 25 hours calculated from the guards, if they had awakened the previous morning. All patients were videotaped during each period of sleep, and the authors evaluated Behavioral movements in the field of games with the bed linen to getting up out of bed to determine whether they sleepwalking episodes. They also rated the complexity of each episode on a 3-point scale.

The results showed that while 32 were Behavioral episodes of 20 Sleepwalkers (50%) during baseline sleep, 92 were episodes of 36 patients (90%) in restoring sleep. Sleep deprivation also significantly increased the proportion of sleepwalkers where at least one complex. "Through the acquisition of graeren number of episodes with a wider range of complexity, sleep deprivation, the video polysomnographically-based diagnosis of somnambulism and its distinction from other diseases," the authors conclude.

Sleepwalkers are thought to suffer from the inability to stable slow-wave sleep (stage 3 and 4 sleep), and the study found that these patients had increased difficulty of Slow-wave sleep at a different time or sleep arousal following sleep deprivation, which supports this view. It is also consistent with observations that other factors contributing to deepen sleep, how young or fever, can help trigger sleepwalking and individuals predisposed.

The authors caution observed that conduct events in the sleep laboratory following sleep deprivation is not always sufficient to confirm the diagnosis of sleepwalking in a medico-legal context. But they point out that: "As a diagnostic tool, sleep deprivation shows a high sensitivity for somnambulism and can be clinically useful to a wider range of patients than somnambulistic previously reported." They come to the conclusion that the study supports the recommendation that sleepwalkers regelmaigen maintain a sleep schedule and avoid sleep deprivation.

article adapted from Medical News Today original press release.

article: " Polysomnographic diagnosis of sleep walking: Effects of Sleep Deprivation, "Antonio Zadra, Mathieu Pilon, Jacques Mont Plaisir, Annals of Neurology , March 2008.

Source: Anna Molnar


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