Neuropsychological deficits and sleep in myotonic dystrophy

Can J Neurol Sci. 1990 Nov;17(4):410-5. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100030985.


Eight patients with myotonic dystrophy underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing and overnight polysomnography to assess whether the waking cognitive impairment might be attributable to sleep structure abnormalities or to sleep-related respiratory problems. Patients showed substantial neuropsychological deficits, fragmented nocturnal sleep and, in half the patients, sleep apnea and/or hypopnea both mainly of central type. There was no statistically significant correlation between the degree of daytime cognitive deficit and the degree of sleep fragmentation or of respiratory problems at night. It was concluded that the neuropsychological deficit in mytonic dystrophy cannot be attributed to a secondary effect of nocturnal sleep apnea or sleep disruption but probably represents a direct effect of CNS lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / complications
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / physiopathology*
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / psychology
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*