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Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 425697, 19 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/425697
Review Article

How Sleep Activates Epileptic Networks?

National Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Lotz K. Straße 18, Budapest 1026, Hungary

Received 18 March 2013; Accepted 24 June 2013

Academic Editor: Enrica Bonanni

Copyright © 2013 Peter Halász. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The relationship between sleep and epilepsy has been long ago studied, and several excellent reviews are available. However, recent development in sleep research, the network concept in epilepsy, and the recognition of high frequency oscillations in epilepsy and more new results may put this matter in a new light. Aim. The review address the multifold interrelationships between sleep and epilepsy networks and with networks of cognitive functions. Material and Methods. The work is a conceptual update of the available clinical data and relevant studies. Results and Conclusions. Studies exploring dynamic microstructure of sleep have found important gating mechanisms for epileptic activation. As a general rule interictal epileptic manifestations seem to be linked to the slow oscillations of sleep and especially to the reactive delta bouts characterized by A1 subtype in the CAP system. Important link between epilepsy and sleep is the interference of epileptiform discharges with the plastic functions in NREM sleep. This is the main reason of cognitive impairment in different forms of early epileptic encephalopathies affecting the brain in a special developmental window. The impairment of cognitive functions via sleep is present especially in epileptic networks involving the thalamocortical system and the hippocampocortical memory encoding system.