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Book Reviews
January 2002

Epilepsy and Sleep: Physiological and Clinical Relationships

Arch Neurol. 2002;59(1):151. doi:

edited by Dudley S. Dinner and Hans O. Lüders, 300 pp, San Diego, Calif, Academic Press, 2001.

"Thy sweet child sleep, the filmy-eyed" is how Shelley described the relationship between Night and Sleep in his ode "To Night." This book, edited by Dinner and Lüders, based on a 1998 symposium, explores another intimate relationship—that of epilepsy and sleep. Sleep neurophysiology, the effect of sleep on seizures, the effect of seizures on sleep, and sleep disorders that mimic seizures are covered in a comprehensive and readable manner. The authors are experts in their respective fields and write from extensive personal experience as well as from knowledge of the literature. In particular, the chapter by Amzica and Steriade, "Electrophysiology of Sleep," is a coherent and exciting summary of the basic science underlying the topic. Different epileptic syndromes are covered in detail, including electrical status epilepticus of sleep and acquired epileptic aphasia. A comprehensive review of psomnias spans several chapters. For those inexperienced in the technique of video-electroencephalographic polysomnography, a later chapter provides useful practical details and a helpful series of case examples. In keeping with most multiauthored books, the style varies somewhat between contributors. Each chapter commences with a list of contents but only 11 of the 17 chapters include summaries or conclusions. References cited in most chapters are from 1998 or earlier, although occasional 1999 or 2000 citations are listed, especially in the up-to-date section by Mahowald and Schenck on rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. However, some recent work, such as new insights into the electroencephalographic manifestations of arousal psomnias and studies on the effects of lamotrigine on sleep, are not discussed. In summary, this book is an important contribution to the borderland between sleep and seizure disorders. I recommend it to all neurologists interested in either field as well as to trainees in sleep or epilepsy fellowships.

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