Neurophysiology of CSWS-associated cognitive dysfunction

Epilepsia. 2009 Aug;50 Suppl 7:33-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02216.x.


The phenomenon of continuous spikes and waves during slow-wave sleep (CSWS) is associated with a number of epileptic syndromes, which share a behavioral phenotype characterized by deterioration of cognitive, behavioral, or sensorimotor functions. Available evidence seems to suggest that spike-wave activity is a result of a complex interaction between cortical and subcortical inhibitory networks and can "per se" produce a transient loss of underlying cortical functions. Syndromes like Landau-Kleffner syndrome, CSWS, and phenomena such as negative myoclonus could share in common--at least at the neurophysiological level--some similarities. Differences in behavioral phenotypes could be explained in term of maturational and genetic differences, as well as by the functional specificity of the involved areas.

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / diagnosis
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Landau-Kleffner Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Landau-Kleffner Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Magnetoencephalography / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Phenotype
  • Sleep / physiology*


  • Oxygen