Cortical dysgenesis is increasingly recognised as a cause of epilepsy. We report a case with double cortex heterotopia and secondarily generalized seizures with a generalised spike wave pattern. During the course of the disease, the child developed electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep. From the first examination, sleep pattern revealed increased frequency and amplitude of spindle activity, more evident in anterior areas. The role of the thalamocortical pathway in increased sleep spindle activity is discussed with emphasis on the possible role of altered thalamocortical pathways in abnormal cortical migration. A strong suspicion of cortical dysgenesis may therefore be based on specific EEG sleep patterns.