We examined an obese 58-year-old patient with a bilateral posterior hypothalamic lesion of unknown etiology. A 24-hour polysomnography revealed a markedly increased total sleep time (17.6 h). During daytime, only 3 continuous wake phases occurred. REM periods occurred only between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. We conclude from our results that, similar to the results from animal experiments, the posterior hypothalamus in humans plays a critical role in the maintenance of wakefulness.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel