Epilepsy as a derailment of sleep plastic functions may cause chronic cognitive impairment - A theoretical review

Péter Halász, Péter Przemyslaw Ujma, Dániel Fabó, Róbert Bódizs, Anna Szűcs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


We report on a peculiar way of chronic cognitive impairment associated with interictal epileptic activity during NREM sleep. We review three major groups of epilepsy: mesiotemporal epilepsy (MTLE) involving the epileptic derailment of the hippocampal declarative memory system; childhood developmental epileptic encephalopathies; and the spectrum disorders of the perisylvian communication network with the centrotemporal spike phenomenon, overarching child- and adulthood epilepsies, totaling up the majority of epilepsies in childhood. We outline high impact research-lines on the cognitive harm of epilepsy; causing specific or global cognitive decline through its interference with sleep plastic functions. We highlight the key role of interictal activity in the development of cognitive impairment and the fact that we are unarmed against this harm, antiepileptic pharmaco-therapy being ineffective against the interictal process marked by spikes and high frequency oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Age dependent childhood focal epilepsies
  • Centrotemporal spikes
  • Cognitive harm
  • Epileptic encephalopathies
  • Interictal epileptic activity
  • Mesiotemporal epilepsy
  • Rolandic epilepsy
  • Sleep slow waves
  • Sleep-related epilepsies
  • Spindles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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