Narcolepsy and other syndromes associated with excessive daytime sleepiness can be challenging to treat. New classifications now distinguish narcolepsy/hypocretin deficiency (also called type 1 narcolepsy), a lifelong disorder with well-established diagnostic procedures and etiology, from other syndromes with hypersomnolence of unknown causes. Klein-Levin Syndrome, a periodic hypersomnia associated with cognitive and behavioral abnormalities, is also considered a separate entity with separate therapeutic protocols. Non hypocretin-related hypersomnia syndromes are diagnoses of exclusion. These diagnoses are only made after eliminating sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, disturbed nocturnal sleep, and psychiatric comorbidities as the primary cause of daytime sleepiness. The treatment of narcolepsy/hypocretin deficiency is well-codified, and involves pharmacotherapies using sodium oxybate, stimulants, and/or antidepressants, plus behavioral modifications. These therapies are almost always needed, and the risk-to-benefit ratio is clear, notably in children. Detailed knowledge of the pharmacological profile of each compound is needed to optimize use. Treatment for other syndromes with hypersomnolence is more challenging and less codified. Preferably, therapy should be conservative (such as modafinil, atomoxetine, behavioral modifications), but it may have to be more aggressive (high-dose stimulants, sodium oxybate, etc.) on a case-by-case, empirical trial basis. As cause and evolution are unknown in these conditions, it is important to challenge diagnosis and therapy over time, keeping in mind the possibility of tolerance and the development of stimulant addiction. Kleine-Levin Syndrome is usually best left untreated, although lithium can be considered in severe cases with frequent episodes. Guidelines are provided based on the literature and personal experience of the author.
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Narcolepsy; Hypocretin; Orexin; Sodium oxybate; Modafinil; Venlafaxine
Kleine–Levin syndrome (KLS) is a rare sleep disorder mainly affecting teenage boys in which the main features are intermittent hypersomnolence, behavioral and cognitive disturbances, hyperphagia, and in some cases hypersexuality. Each episode is of brief duration varying from a week to 1–2 months and affected people are entirely asymptomatic between episodes. No definite cause has been identified, and no effective treatments are available even though illness is having well-defined clinical features. Multiple relapses occur every few weeks or months, and the condition may last for a decade or more before spontaneous resolution. In this study, PubMed was searched and appropriate articles were reviewed to highlight etiology, clinical features, and management of KLS. On the basis of this knowledge, practical information is offered to help clinicians about how to investigate a case of KLS, and what are the possible treatment modalities available currently for the treatment during an episode and interepisodic period for prophylaxis. Comprehensive research into the etiology, pathophysiology, investigation, and treatments are required to aid the development of disease-specific targeted therapies.
Hypersomnia; hypersexuality; Kleine–Levin syndrome; megaphagia; periodic
Objective: To determine the role of CSF hypocretin-1 in narcolepsy with and without cataplexy, Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS), idiopathic and other hypersomnias, and several neurological conditions.
Patients: 26 narcoleptic patients with cataplexy, 9 narcoleptic patients without cataplexy, 2 patients with abnormal REM-sleep-associated hypersomnia, 7 patients with idiopathic hypersomnia, 2 patients with post-traumatic hypersomnia, 4 patients with KLS, and 88 patients with other neurological disorders.
Results: 23 patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy had low CSF hypocretin-1 levels, while one patient had a normal hypocretin level (HLA-DQB1*0602 negative) and the other two had intermediate levels (familial forms). One narcoleptic patient without cataplexy had a low hypocretin level. One patient affected with post-traumatic hypersomnia had intermediate hypocretin levels. The KLS patients had normal hypocretin levels while asymptomatic, but one KLS patient (also affected with Prader-Willi syndrome) showed a twofold decrease in hypocretin levels during a symptomatic episode. Among the patients without hypersomnia, two patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus and one with unclear central vertigo had intermediate levels.
Conclusion: Low CSF hypocretin-1 is highly specific (99.1%) and sensitive (88.5%) for narcolepsy with cataplexy. Hypocretin ligand deficiency appears not to be the major cause for other hypersomnias, with a possible continuum in the pathophysiology of narcolepsy without cataplexy and idiopathic hypersomnia. However, partial hypocretin lesions without low CSF hypocretin-1 consequences cannot be definitely excluded in those disorders. The existence of normal hypocretin levels in narcoleptic patients and intermediate levels in other rare aetiologies needs further investigation, especially for KLS, to establish the functional significance of hypocretin neurotransmission alterations.
Hypersomnia, a complaint of excessive daytime sleep or sleepiness, affects 4% to 6% of the population, with an impact on the everyday life of the patient Methodological tools to explore sleep and wakefulness (interview, questionnaires, sleep diary, polysomnography Multiple Sleep Latency Test, Maintenance of Wakefulness Test) and psy-chomotor tests (for example, psychomotor vigilance task and Oxford Sleep Resistance or Osier Test) help distinguish between the causes of hypersomnia. In this article, the causes of hypersomnia are detailed following the conventional classification of hypersomnic syndromes: narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, recurrent hypersomnia, insufficient sleep syndrome, medication- and toxin-dependent sleepiness, hypersomnia associated with psychiatric disorders, hypersomnia associated with neurological disorders, posttraumatic hypersomnia, infection (with a special emphasis on the differences between bacterial and viral diseases compared with parasitic diseases, such as sleeping sickness) and hypersomnia, hypersomnia associated with metabolic or endocrine diseases, breathing-related sleep disorders and sleep apnea syndromes, and periodic limb movements in sleep.
narcolepsy; idiopathic hypersomnia; recurrent hypersomnia; insufficient sleep syndrome; periodic limb movements in sleep; sleep apnea syndrome; human African trypanosomiasis; infectious disease
Kleine-Levine Syndrome (KLS) is a disorder characterized by a triad of periodic hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and hypersexuality. KLS, although more common in young males, it has also been seen in females. Treatment options available for its management include mood stabilisers like lithium, stimulants like amphetamines, antidepressants and other options including electroconvulsive therapy. Modafinil is one of the new stimulant medications approved for narcolepsy. Herein, we report a young female with KLS and showing favorable response to modafinil. More data is required to establish the effectiveness of modafinil in this syndrome.
Females; Kleine-Levin syndrome; Modafinil
Kleine-Levin syndrome is a rare sleep disorder of unknown etiology. It is characterized by intermittent periods of excessive sleepiness, cognitive disturbances and behavioral abnormalities. Nine cases of familial Kleine-Levin syndrome have been identified, but there are no reported cases describing twins that are affected by the syndrome.
We report the cases of 16-year-old monozygotic twin boys who both suffered from Kleine-Levin syndrome. In both cases, the onset of the first episode was preceded by an influenza infection. During symptomatic periods they slept for the entire day except for meals and bathroom visits. Actimetry recordings revealed that during symptomatic periods, daily activity was lower than that of asymptomatic periods, on the other hand, activity during the night was significantly higher in symptomatic periods than asymptomatic periods. Polysomnography (PSG) data during symptomatic periods revealed a decrease in sleep efficiency. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing revealed no DQB1*02 loci. They were administered lithium carbonate but the beneficial effect was limited.
Our observations suggest that Kleine-Levin syndrome may be due to genetic and autoimmune processes, although etiologic relationship to specific HLA type remains controversial.
Recurrent hypersomnia; Kleine-Levin syndrome; Monozygotic twins; HLA typing; Polysomnography; Actimetry
Two cases of Kleine-Levin Syndrome with illness duration of three and four months respectively are presented. Both cases in their adolescence presented with typical features of the syndrome-onset after high grade fever episodic course and spontaneous remission of each episode and normalcy in between the episodes Characteristic features of each episode in both cases were hypersomnia, eating excessively, disinhibited behaviour, affective features like irritability social withdrawal and lack of personal care and cognitive disturbance. The second case had sexual disinhibition which is another important feature seen in Kleine-Levin Syndrome. Both patients responded well to lithium therapy.
Central hypersomnias are diseases manifested in excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) not caused by disturbed nocturnal sleep or misaligned circadian rhythms. Central hypersomnias includes narcolepsy with and without cataplexy, recurrent hypersomnia, idiopathic hypersomnia, with and without long sleep time, behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome, hypersomnia and narcolepsy due to medical conditions, and finally hypersomnia induced by substance intake. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a subjective tool mostly used for EDS assessment, while the Multiple Sleep Latency Test serves as an objective diagnostic method for narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnias. As for symptomatic therapy of EDS, the central nervous system stimulants modafinil and methylphenidate seem to work well in most cases and in narcolepsy and Parkinson’s disease; sodium oxybate also has notable therapeutic value.
Excessive daytime sleepiness; hypersomnia; methylphenidate; modafinil; narcolepsy; sodium oxybate
In recent years, a number of studies have attempted to characterize psychological disturbances related to various sleep disorders. The objective of this type of research is to investigate the possibility that psychopathology may represent an etiological factor, a complication, and/or a target for treatment. In addition, disordered sleep can present itself in a complex and atypical fashion in which the primary sleep-related component may not be immediately apparent. This article reviews the evidence for a relationship between organic sleep disorders and psychiatric morbidity. Generally, it can be concluded that organic sleep disorders have a profound negative impact on most domains of health-related quality of life. Results for the sleep disorders that have been studied (narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and circadian sleep disorders) show strong evidence for an association with mood disorders. After treatment, depression scores may or may not improve to the level of population norms, suggesting that this relationship is more complex than one of mere cause and effect.
sleep; mood disorder; narcolepsy; idiopathic hypersomnia; sleep apnea syndrome; restless legs syndrome; periodic limb movement disorder; circadian sleep disorder; quality of life
Hypersomnia in inter-episode bipolar disorder has been minimally researched. The current study sought to document the prevalence of hypersomnia in a sample of inter-episode patients with bipolar disorder and to examine the relationship between hypersomnia and future bipolar depressive symptoms.
A total of 56 individuals with bipolar disorder (51 Type 1 + 5 Type II) who were currently inter-episode, along with 55 non-psychiatric controls, completed a baseline assessment, including semi-structured interviews for psychiatric diagnoses, sleep disorders, and a battery of indices that included assessment of hypersomnia. Approximately six months later, participants were recontacted by telephone and mood was re-evaluated.
Three of six indices suggested that approximately 25% of participants with bipolar disorder endorsed symptoms of hypersomnia in the inter-episode period. Within the bipolar group, hypersomnia in the inter-episode period was associated with future depressive symptoms. This finding was independent of baseline depressive symptoms and medication use.
Small sample size and concurrent psychopharmacology in the bipolar sample.
Though no gold standard measure for hypersomnia currently exists, this research takes a step towards identifying a clinically and empirically useful hypersomnia assessment. This study demonstrates that hypersomnia in the inter-episode period of bipolar disorder relates to future depressive symptoms, and adds to the growing body of evidence on the importance of inter-episode symptoms predicting bipolar relapse.
hypersomnia; sleep disturbance; bipolar disorder; long sleep
Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS) is a rare disorder of periodic hypersomnia and behavioural disturbances in young individuals. It has previously been shown to be associated with disturbances of working memory (WM), which, in turn, was associated with higher activation of the thalamus with increasing WM load, demonstrated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this study we aimed to further elucidate how these findings are related to the metabolism of the thalamus.
fMRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy were applied while performing a WM task. Standard metabolites were examined: n-acetylaspartate (NAA), myo-inositol, choline, creatine and glutamate-glutamine. Fourteen KLS-patients and 15 healthy controls participated in the study. The patients with active disease were examined in asymptomatic periods.
There was a statistically significant negative correlation between thalamic fMRI-activation and thalamic NAA, i.e., high fMRI-activation corresponded to low NAA-levels. This correlation was not seen in healthy controls. Thalamic levels of NAA in patients and controls showed no significant differences between the groups. None of the other metabolites showed any co-variation with fMRI-activiation.
This study shows negative correlation between NAA-levels and fMRI-activity in the left thalamus of KLS-patients while performing a WM task. This correlation could not be found in healthy control subjects, primarily interpreted as an effect of increased effort in the patient group upon performing the task. It might indicate a disturbance in the neuronal networks responsible for WM in KLS patients, resulting in higher effort at lower WM load, compared with healthy subjects. The general relationship between NAA and BOLD-signal is also discussed in the article.
When sleepiness is excessive, undesirable, inappropriate or unexplained, it often indicates a clinical disorder that is generically termed hypersomnia. One of the leading causes of hypersomnia is sleep apnea. We present the case of a 44-year-old woman with a history of bipolar spectrum disorder and epilepsy who initially showed evidence of hypersomnia. The hypersomnia settled with changes to her medication, but the patient was subsequently found to have severe obstructive sleep apnea. The relation between the patient's medication and sleep apnea is discussed, and the possible respiratory-suppressant effects of chronic barbiturate treatment are considered. The role of other evoking factors within the context of this case and the mechanisms by which drug interactions and psychotropic treatment may worsen, obscure or perpetuate sleep apnea are also examined.
OBJECTIVES—Myotonic dystrophy is a disease
characterised by myotonia and muscle weakness. Psychiatric disorder and
sleep problems have also been considered important features of the
illness. This study investigated the extent to which apathy, major
depression, and hypersomnolence were present. The objective was to
clarify if the apathy reported anecdotally was a feature of CNS
involvement or if this was attributable to major depression,
hypersomnolence, or a consequence of chronic muscle weakness.
METHODS—These features were studied in 36 adults
with non-congenital myotonic dystrophy and 13 patients with
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. By using patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth
disease as a comparison group the aim was to control for the disabling
effects of having an inherited chronic neurological disease causing
muscle weakness. Standardised assessment instruments were used wherever
possible to facilitate comparison with other groups reported in the
RESULTS—There was no excess of major depression on
cross sectional analysis in these patients with mild myotonic
dystrophy. However, apathy was a prominent feature of myotonic
dystrophy in comparison with a similarly disabled group of patients
with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (clinician rated score;
Mann Whitney U test, p=0.0005). Rates of hypersomnolence
were greater in the myotonic dystrophy group, occurring in 39% of
myotonic dystrophy patients, but there was no correlation with apathy.
CONCLUSION—These data suggest that apathy
and hypersomnia are independent and common features of myotonic
dystrophy. Apathy cannot be accounted for by clinical depression or
peripheral muscle weakness and is therefore likely to reflect CNS
involvement. These features of the disease impair quality of life and
may be treatable.
Psychiatric disorders constitute 15.4% of the disease burden in established market economies. Many psychiatric disorders are associated with sleep disturbances, and the relationship is often bidirectional. This paper reviews the prevalence of various psychiatric disorders, their clinical presentation, and their association with sleep disorders. Among the psychiatric disorders reviewed are affective disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. The spectrum of associated sleep disorders includes insomnia, hypersomnia, nocturnal panic, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, restless legs/periodic limb movements of sleep, obstructive sleep apnea, and parasomnias. The effects on sleep of various psychotropic medications utilized to treat the above psychiatric disorders are summarized.
sleep disorder; psychiatric disorder; depression; psychosis; anxiety; sleep
Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is well-known for its genetic and phenotypic complexities. Caused by a lack of paternally derived imprinted material on chromosome 15q11–q13, individuals with PWS have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, repetitive and compulsive behaviors, skin picking, tantrums, irritability, hyperphagia, and increased risks of obesity. Many individuals also have co-occurring autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), psychosis, and mood disorders. Although the PWS 15q11–q13 region confers risks for autism, relatively few studies have assessed autism symptoms in PWS or directly compared social, behavioral, and cognitive functioning across groups with autism or PWS. This article identifies areas of phenotypic overlap and difference between PWS and ASD in core autism symptoms and in such comorbidities as psychiatric disorders, and dysregulated sleep and eating. Though future studies are needed, PWS provides a promising alternative lens into specific symptoms and comorbidities of autism.
Prader–Willi syndrome; Chromosome 15q11–q13; Autism; Psychosis
Psychiatric manifestations are an integral part of Huntington's disease. They may be divided into those syndromes which resemble idiopathic disorders, but for which HD patients may be particularly at risk, those constellations which are peculiar to HD and related conditions, such as the executive dysfunction syndrome, and those symptoms that can truly be regarded as nonspecific, such as delirium. Most of these problems are believed to arise from suhcorticai neuropathologic changes. Major depression is a common psychiatric diagnosis, but the executive dysfunction syndrome, a difficult-to-define condition characterized by often simultaneous apathy and disinhibition, may be even more widespread. There are no large controlled studies of psychiatric treatments in HD, but case series, anecdotal reports, and clinical experience indicate thai many of these syndromes respond readily to treatment Further study of the neuropsychiatry of HD may help to reveal the underpinnings of psychiatric conditions found in the general population.
Huntington's disease; neuropsychiatry; subcortical; executive; frontal; neurodegenerative; chorea; dementia
Although sleep complaints are common in depression and anxiety, there is little agreement as to how they should be organized and assessed. It is also unclear whether sleep complaints show specificity with certain disorders or if they are nonspecific symptoms. We examined the structure of sleep complaints and the relations of these complaints to depression and anxiety in three samples: college students, older adults, and psychiatric patients. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that sleep complaints consistently defined two distinct dimensions: Insomnia and Lassitude. The Insomnia factor included indicators of early, middle, and late insomnia, as well as poor sleep quality. The Lassitude factor included measures of hypersomnia, fatigue, and sleepiness. Both factors were significantly related to symptoms and diagnoses of depression and anxiety. However, Lassitude was more strongly related to symptoms of depression and anxiety than was Insomnia. In addition, Lassitude showed specificity to measures and diagnoses of depression compared to anxiety disorders. This specificity can be explained by Lassitude’s relation with negative and positive emotionality, both of which are components of depression.
major depression; anxiety disorders; sleep; factor analysis
Several sleep anomalies are known to accompany depression and other psychiatric disorders, and to be partially modified by drugs efficient on clinical symptoms. Many puzzling theoretical questions remain, even after 30 years of research, because these drugs do not act in a uniform way: some reduce slow-wave sleep while others increase it; some prolong rapid-eye movement sleep latency while others do not. The relationship between insomnia and depression is likely to be a close one, since a large majority of patients with depression suffer insomnia, and that insomnia can predate depression by a few years. However, questions remain here, too, since sleep deprivation is also an effective means to combat depression, and some patients present with hypersomnia rather than insomnia. This review details the action of all current classes of antidepressants on sleep. It examines the predictive value of baseline electronencephalographic sleep symptoms or early modifications due to treatment for eventual clinical efficiency. We will also discuss the two main theories on the relationship between sleep and depression. The action on sleep of all new drugs- and antidepressants in particular - is carefully examined during development, for insomnia is currently considered to be a major health concern in industrialized countries.
sleep research; drug development; antidepressant; treatment efficacy; EEG
Of 250 patients referred to the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, 35 were diagnosed for a sleep induced apnea syndrome. Thirty of them (27 adults and 3 children) were nonobese and complained of a sleep disorder. In 12 patients (9 adults and 3 children) extensive cardiorespiratory workups were done during sleep and wakefulness. Three types of sleep induced apnea syndrome were identified: diaphragmatic (or central), obstructive and mixed. The diaphragmatic type was predominant in sleep apnea insomnia; obstructive was predominant in sleep apnea hypersomnia. Hemodynamic changes were documented during sleep. Tracheostomy, done in two cases, improved the sleep induced symptomatology.
Relapse of major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common clinical problem. This study was designed to determine whether residual sleep disturbance (insomnia and hypersomnia) predict risk of relapse during the continuation and maintenance treatment of MDD.
A total of 570 patients with MDD were treated with open-label, flexible dose fluoxetine (range 20 to 60 mg; mean dose = 45.8 mg/day; SD = 15.1) for 12 weeks. Under double blind conditions, 262 patients who achieved clinical response were randomly assigned to continue fluoxetine or to switch to placebo for 52 weeks or until relapse. Residual sleep disturbance during the baseline visit of the double-blind phase was assessed using items 4, 5, 6 (insomnia) and 22, 23, 24 (hypersomnia) of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Survival analysis was utilized to determine the effect of residual sleep disturbance on risk of relapse.
The severities of early (P > 0.05), middle (P > 0.05), late (P > 0.05), or total (P > 0.05) residual insomnia were not found to significantly predict risk of relapse during continuation and maintenance-phase treatment. Similarly, the severities of early bedtime (P > 0.05), oversleeping (P > 0.05), napping (P > 0.05), or total (P > 0.05) residual hypersomnia were not found to significantly predict risk of relapse during continuation and maintenance-phase treatment.
The present study did not identify the severity of residual sleep disturbance among fluoxetine responders to predict risk of MDD relapse. The size of our sample may have precluded us from identifying more modest effects of residual sleep disturbance on the risk of relapse in MDD patients. Future studies are needed to further explore the relationship between residual sleep disturbance and relapse in MDD.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00427128
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent disease characterized by recurrent episodes of upper airway obstruction that result in recurrent arousals and episodic oxyhemoglobin desaturations during sleep. Significant clinical consequences of the disorder cover a wide spectrum, including daytime hypersomnolence, neurocognitive dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, metabolic dysfunction, and cor pulmonale. The major risk factors for the disorder include obesity, male gender, and age. Current understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of the disorder suggests that a balance of anatomically imposed mechanical loads and compensatory neuromuscular responses are important in maintaining upper airway patency during sleep. OSA develops in the presence of both elevated mechanical loads on the upper airway and defects in compensatory neuromuscular responses. A sleep history and physical examination is important in identification of patients and appropriate referral for polysomnography. Understanding nuances in the spectrum of presenting complaints and polysomnography correlates are important for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Knowledge of common patterns of OSA may help to identify patients and guide therapy.
critical pressure; diagnosis; obstructive sleep apnea; pathophysiology
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a recently described mood disorder characterized by recurrent winter depressive episodes and summer remissions. The symptoms of SAD include DSM III-R criteria for recurrent major depression, but atypical depressive symptoms predominate with hypersomnia, hyperphagia and carbohydrate craving, and anergia. Seasonal affective disorder is effectively treated by exposure to bright light (phototherapy or light therapy), a novel antidepressant treatment. The authors review the syndrome of SAD, hypotheses about its pathophysiology, and the use of phototherapy to treat the disorder.
depression; family medicine; phototherapy; psychiatry; seasonal affective disorder; sleep disorders
The triad of obesity, hypoventilation and inordinate hypersomnolence characterizes the obesity-hypoventilation syndrome. The reasons for daytime hypoventilation appear related to decreased chemical drives to breathe combined with the added physical impediment of extreme obesity. When the physiology of sleep was investigated in patients with this syndrome, intermittent nocturnal obstructive apneas were documented that produced blood gas abnormalities, arrhythmias and serious elevations of both pulmonary and systemic pressures. The obstructive apneas are due to intermittent loss of muscle tone of the tongue resulting in its prolapse against the posterior pharynx. The special importance of the obesity-hypoventilation syndrome lies in its being an example of a disorder of sleep and breathing that can appear in widely different clinical settings. Therapeutic measures include weight loss, progestational agents or permanent tracheostomy.
Successful management of patients with sleep disorders requires attention to the clinical history, particularly the sleep history, knowledge of the causes of insomnia and hypersomnia, and familiarity with a variety of therapeutic interventions. To illustrate these principles, the authors describe a 68-year-old woman who had a history of clinical depression but who, on further investigation, was found to suffer from three sleep disorders: narcolepsy, periodic leg movements during sleep, and rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. Treatment of these sleep disorders caused a complete amelioration of the mood symptoms and a significant improvement in psychosocial functioning and well-being.
depression; family medicine; insomnia; psychiatry; sleep disorders
The clinical case report of a patient who underwent an
endoscopic third ventriculostomy for the treatment of a slit ventricle syndrome is presented. After surgery the patient developed a severe complication consisting of an organic personality disorder,
characterised by impulsiveness, physical heteroaggressiveness, binge
eating, hypersomnia and impairment of memory, and frontal-executive functions.
A frontal lobe lesion may explain some of the symptoms
presented, such as the uncontrolled impulses, the aggressive behaviour, and even the binge eating. However, a longitudinal neuropsychological evaluation showed a severe deficit in immediate memory and difficulties in planning and consolidation of newly learned information, which may
be best related to damage in the frontal basal structures of the brain:
the fornix and its connection to the hippocampus and the mamillary
bodies. Postoperative MR images confirmed the clinical hypothesis. The
emergence of such a severe organic personality disorder and cognitive
disturbances as a psychiatric complication of an endoscopic third
ventriculostomy has not, it seems, been previously reported elsewhere.
Clinicians should take these possible complications into account when
recommending this so-called minimally invasive neuroendoscopic procedure.