Table of Contents
ISRN Neurology
Volume 2014, Article ID 619079, 6 pages
Review Article

Continuous Spike-Wave during Slow Wave Sleep and Related Conditions

Department of Neurology, University of California, P.O. Box 0114, 505 Parnassus Avenue, M-798, San Francisco, CA 94143-0114, USA

Received 30 September 2013; Accepted 5 December 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editors: P. G. Simos and E. M. Wassermann

Copyright © 2014 Nilika Shah Singhal and Joseph E. Sullivan. 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.


Continuous spike and wave during slow wave sleep (CSWS) is an epileptic encephalopathy that presents with neurocognitive regression and clinical seizures, and that demonstrates an electroencephalogram (EEG) pattern of electrical status epilepticus during sleep, as defined by the Commission on Classification and Terminology of the International League Against Epilepsy 1989. CSWS is an age-related condition, typically presenting in children around 5 years of age, with clinical seizures which progress within 2 years to a severe epileptic encephalopathy. The pathophysiology of CSWS is not completely understood, but the corticothalamic neuronal network involved in sleep patterns is thought to be involved. Genetic predisposition and injury in early development are thought to play etiological roles. Treatment strategies have involved traditional anticonvulsants, hormonal therapies, and other newer techniques. Outcomes are fair, and the thought is that earlier diagnosis and intervention preserve neurocognitive development, as in the case of other epileptic encephalopathies. Further understanding of the mechanisms of CSWS may lead to improved therapeutic options and thus outcomes of children with CSWS.