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Differences between frontal lobe seizures and parasomnias

  • Frontal lobe seizures are usually brief events (< 2 minutes), with stereotyped features from seizure to seizure and preserved awareness. Parasomnias are usually longer in duration (> 10 minutes), have variable features from event to event and are characterized by a confusional state with the patient having no memory of the event afterwards.
  • In parasomnias, clustering is rare and the common non-REM parasomnias typically occur 1-2 hours after falling asleep, in the first cycle of deep slow wave sleep. Nocturnal frontal lobe seizures typically occur throughout the night, and more frequently within half an hour of falling asleep (in hypnogogic states) or shortly before awakening.
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