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March 1984

Sleep in the Prader-Willi Syndrome: Clinical and Polygraphic Findings

Author Affiliations

From the Sleep Laboratory, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology (Drs Vela-Bueno, Dobladez-Blanco, Espino-Hurtado, and Olivan-Palacios), and the Department of Pediatrics (Dr Campos-Castello), Hospital Clinico de San Carlos, Madrid; the Sleep Research and Treatment Center, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey (Drs Vela-Bueno, Kales, and Soldatos); and the Sleep Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Athens (Greece) School of Medicine (Dr Soldatos).

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(3):294-296. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050150072020

• Nine patients with the Prader-Willi syndrome, ranging in age from 3 to 21 years, were examined clinically as well as studied in the sleep laboratory. They had striking disturbances of sleep-wakefulness patterns. All patients except one had the symptom of excessive daytime sleepiness. The most striking finding was the presence in five patients of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep occurring at sleep onset (SOREM). None of the patients had the condition of sleep apnea. One patient, however, demonstrated severe hypoventilation during REM sleep; the lowest value recorded for O2 saturation was 40%, with a consistent value below 50% for as long as ten to 15 minutes. Previous findings have indicated that the Prader-Willi syndrome is of hypothalamic origin. We hypothesize that both the SOREM and O2 desaturation findings in our patients with the Prader-Willi syndrome are also a result of hypothalamic changes.

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