Parasomnias pp 339-352 | Cite as

Neurological Conditions Associated with Parasomnias

  • Kiran Maski
  • Smit S. Chauhan


In this chapter, we review common neurological disorders in both children and adults that present and/or are associated with nocturnal parasomnias. The presentation of parasomnias with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), migraine, Tourette’s syndrome, and dementias is often multifactorial; medications, changes in environment, pain, stress, immobility, comorbid psychiatric symptoms, and/or underlying sleep disorders may induce parasomnias in patients in both childhood and adulthood. Parasomnias may also be related to intrinsic sleep architectural abnormalities seen in these neurological diseases. For instance, instability of NREM sleep in children with ADHD may contribute to sleep fragmentation leaving more opportunities for parasomnias to occur during the night. For each disorder discussed, we present the current literature on associated sleep disturbances and highlight presentation of parasomnias. The pathophysiology of parasomnias among these disorders is still speculative but spans etiologies such as neurodegeneration of specific neural substrates to alterations of neurophysiology during sleep. While there is no current literature on how parasomnias influence daytime functioning, clinically the patients report increased fatigue and sleepiness which may exacerbate core neurological symptoms.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Multiple System Atrophy Dementia With Lewy Body NREM Sleep Pure Autonomic Failure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Boston Children’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Sleep MedicineBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA

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