DOI: 10.1684/epd.2019.1054 ISSN: 1294-9361

EEG features in Encephalopathy related to Status Epilepticus during slow Sleep

Elena Gardella, Gaetano Cantalupo, Pål G. Larsson, Elena Fontana, Bernardo dalla Bernardina, Guido Rubboli, Francesca Darra
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology
  • General Medicine


Encephalopathy related to Status Epilepticus during slow Sleep (ESES) is a peculiar electro‐clinical condition, with variable etiologies, characterized by an age‐dependent phenomenon of extreme activation of epileptic activity during sleep, i.e. “status epilepticus during sleep”, that is strictly associated with the appearance of cognitive and behavioral disturbances. Even though the peculiar EEG picture is fundamental for the diagnosis of ESES, clear‐cut and shared diagnostic criteria for defining the EEG boundaries of this syndrome are still lacking. The diagnosis of ESES can be further complicated by the variability of the EEG findings, that during the course of the disease can change from diffuse to more or less focal and viceversa, depending both on the spontaneous clinical evolution of this condition and/or on the effects of medications. Given the complexity and the heterogeneity of EEG parameters during the ESES course, it is important to correlate the EEG findings with the concomitant cognitive and behavioral status, possibly taking into account not only the spike‐wave index, but also other parameters, such as for instance the topography of the epileptic abnormalities, their patterns of spread, and their fluctuations over time.

Moreover, the epileptiform activity not only during sleep, but also during wakefulness, the presence of focal slowing, the organization of the EEG background and a derangement of the sleep architecture may play a role in determining the clinical picture.

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