Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy: new pathophysiological interpretations

Paolo Tinuper, Francesca Bisulli, Federica Provini, Pasquale Montagna, Elio Lugaresi
Sleep Medicine 2011, 12 Suppl 2: S39-42
Since the first descriptions of Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy (NFLE) many theories have been proposed to explain its pathophysiological mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to formulate a tentative hypothesis designed to unify the clinical, anatomo-physiological, and genetic aspects underlying this condition. According to this hypothesis, NFLE is due to a disorder in the thalamocortical circuit involved in the arousal mechanism. Other cortical-networks involving the limbic system may explain, for instance, primitive behaviors. The role of the cholinergic system and related pathways in the pathogenesis of nocturnal seizures and parasomnias is also discussed.

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