K-complex-induced seizures in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy

Clin Neurophysiol. 2008 Oct;119(10):2201-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2008.07.212. Epub 2008 Aug 31.


Objective: To examine in detail the relations between seizures and K-complexes in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE).

Methods: Prolonged continuous video-EEG recording and analysis of 30 seizures in an 18-year-old woman suffering from ADNFLE with a CHRNA4 gene mutation.

Results: Twenty-seven of 30 recorded seizures started just after a K-complex. In nine cases a sound induced a K-complex that was immediately followed by the seizure. Most seizures preceded repetitive and brief ictal restarts.

Conclusions: Three new characteristics have been observed in this ADNFLE patient: a K-complex is almost invariably present at seizure onset; sounds trigger some seizures; ictal restarts occur often.

Significance: These new observations--the presence of K-complexes at seizure onset and occurrence of sound-triggered seizures--support the view that ADNFLE seizures may be initiated by K-complexes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / genetics*
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Genes, Dominant*
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / genetics
  • Seizures / genetics
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Video Recording


  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha4 subunit