Hypersomnia associated with bilateral posterior hypothalamic lesion. A polysomnographic case study

Eur Neurol. 2003;49(3):169-72. doi: 10.1159/000069088.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Body Temperature
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / cytology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / physiopathology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / psychology
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus, Posterior / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Polysomnography


  • Hormones