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Sleeping in fits and starts: a practical guide to distinguishing nocturnal epilepsy from sleep disorders
  1. Christopher P Derry
  1. Correspondence to Dr C P Derry, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Crewe Rd, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK; cderry{at}


Accurately diagnosing sleep-related events, and particularly distinguishing nocturnal frontal lobe seizures from other sleep disorders such as parasomnias, can be challenging. This article reviews the differential diagnosis of paroxysmal events from sleep, epileptic and non-epileptic, considers important diagnostic points in the history, and evaluates the role of investigations in this setting.

  • Epilepsy
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Paroxysmal Disorder

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