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Sleep and Epilepsy.

The relationship between sleep and epilepsy is both intimate and bidirectional. The molecular mechanisms which control circadian rhythm and the sleep/wake cycle are dysregulated in epileptogenic tissue and are themselves effected by molecular pathways for epilepsy. Sleep affects the frequency of interictal epileptiform discharges and recent research has raised new questions regarding the impact of discharges on sleep function and cognition. Epileptiform discharges themselves affect sleep architecture and increase the risk of sleep disorders. Several sleep-related epilepsy syndromes have undergone changes in their classification which highlights their intimate relationship to sleep and novel screening tools have been developed to help clinicians better differentiate epileptic seizures from sleep-related paroxysmal events. Improving sleep and addressing sleep disorders has been associated with improved seizure control and increased well-being in people with epilepsy. These interactions are discussed in detail in this review.

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