Kleine-Levin syndrome is a rare sleep disorder that mainly affects adolescents and is characterised by relapsing-remitting episodes of severe hypersomnia, cognitive impairment, apathy, derealisation, and psychiatric and behavioural disturbances. Boys are more frequently affected than girls. Just over half of patients have hyperphagia, are hypersexual (mainly boys), or have depressed mood (mainly girls), and 30% become anxious, delusional, and have hallucinations. Although some symptoms are similar to those in patients with encephalopathy, imaging and laboratory findings are unremarkable. The first episode of hypersomnia is often triggered by an infection, with relapses occurring every 1-12 months for a median of 14 years; disease duration can be much longer with childhood or adult onset than in patients with adolescent onset. Between episodes, patients generally have normal sleep patterns, cognition, mood, and eating habits. During episodes, electroencephalography might show diffuse or local slow activity. Functional imaging studies have revealed hypoactivity in thalamic and hypothalamic regions, and in the frontal and temporal lobes. Stimulants and mood stabilisers can be beneficial in the treatment of severe cases.
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