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01 May 1997

Epilepsy in sleep apnea syndrome

Karel Sonka, Sona Nevsimalova

Med Sci Monit 1997; 3(3): CS378-384 :: ID: 501142

Abstract

There are some typical seizure provocation moments within the sleep of patients suffering from sleep apnea syndrome (SAS). For this reason, the clinical occurrence of epileptic seizures and their prevalence among SAS patients is very interesting. Authors of the present retrospective study looked for the occurrence of epileptic seizures in a population of 281 adult and 11 childhood subjects with a diagnosis of SAS. A total of 13 adult (4.6% of the adult group) and 2 pediatric patients underwent at least one epileptic seizure; their case histories are presented. Eleven (11) of the adults patients (3.9 % of the adult SAS population) and both children were considered to be epileptic. Seven (7) of the adult epileptic subjects had night seizures exclusively, 2 had seizures in the night-time as well as in the day-time and only 2 suffered from day-time seizures (2 subjects with only a single seizure are not included). In 8 of the 9 adult cases with night-time seizures, the authors suggest a seizure provocation by apnea. The high incidence of epilepsy among these SAS patients and the predominately night-time occurrence of seizures suggest a relationship between SAS and epileptic seizures. Sleep apnea syndrome could be an etiologic or at least a provocative factor for epileptic seizures.

Keywords: sleep apnea syndrome (SAS), Epilepsy, seizure

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