Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy

Lino Nobili, Paola Proserpio, Romina Combi, Federica Provini, Giuseppe Plazzi, Francesca Bisulli, Laura Tassi, Paolo Tinuper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE) is a syndrome of heterogeneous etiology, characterized by the occurrence of sleep-related seizures with different complexity and duration. Genetic, lesional, and cryptogenetic NFLE forms have been described. NFLE is generally considered a benign clinical entity, although severe, drug-resistant forms do exist. A significant proportion of sleep-related complex motor seizures, hardly distinguishable from NFLE, originate outside the frontal lobe. Moreover, the distinction of NFLE from the non-rapid eye movement arousal parasomnias may be challenging. A correct diagnosis of NFLE should be based on a diagnostic approach that includes the anamnestic, video-polysomnographic, morphological, and genetic aspects. Studies on the relationships between genes, arousal regulatory mechanisms, and epileptogenesis, using both clinical and experimental models of NFLE might provide key insights in the interrelationship between sleep and epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Autosomal nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Focal cortical dysplasia
  • Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Parasomnias
  • Sleep-related epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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