Co-activation of rhythms during alpha band oscillations as an interictal biomarker of exploding head syndrome

Dimitris Fotis Sakellariou, Alexander David Nesbitt, Sean Higgins, Sandor Beniczky, Jan Rosenzweig, Panagis Drakatos, Nadia Gildeh, Patrick Brian Murphy, Brian Kent, Adrian John Williams, Meir Kryger, Peter J. Goadsby, Guy Doron Leschziner, Ivana Rosenzweig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Exploding head syndrome is a rarely reported benign sensory parasomnia that may nonetheless have significant impact on patients’ quality of life and their perceived well-being. To date, the mechanisms underlying attacks, characterised by a painless perception of abrupt, loud noises at transitional sleep-wake or wake-sleep states, are by and large unclear. Methods and results: In order to address the current gap in the knowledge of potential underlying pathophysiology, a retrospective case-control study of polysomnographic recordings of patients presenting to a tertiary sleep disorders clinic with exploding head syndrome was conducted. Interictal (non-attack associated) electroencephalographic biomarkers were investigated by performing macrostructural and event-related dynamic spectral analyses of the whole-night EEG. In patients with exploding head syndrome, additional oscillatory activity was recorded during wakefulness and at sleep/wake periods. This activity differed in its frequency, topography and source from the alpha rhythm that it accompanied. Conclusion: Based on these preliminary findings, we hypothesise that at times of sleep-wake transition in patients with exploding head syndrome, aberrant attentional processing may lead to amplification and modulation of external sensory stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1. Jan 2020

Keywords

  • alpha rhythm
  • EEG
  • Exploding head syndrome
  • parasomnia
  • sleep
  • sleep-wake transition

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    Fotis Sakellariou, D., Nesbitt, A. D., Higgins, S., Beniczky, S., Rosenzweig, J., Drakatos, P., Gildeh, N., Murphy, P. B., Kent, B., Williams, A. J., Kryger, M., Goadsby, P. J., Leschziner, G. D., & Rosenzweig, I. (2020). Co-activation of rhythms during alpha band oscillations as an interictal biomarker of exploding head syndrome. Cephalalgia. https://doi.org/10.1177/0333102420902705