Sleep EEG fingerprints reveal accelerated thalamocortical oscillatory dynamics in Williams syndrome

Róbert Bódizs, Ferenc Gombos, Ilona Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep EEG alterations are emerging features of several developmental disabilities, but detailed quantitative EEG data on the sleep phenotype of patients with Williams syndrome (WS, 7q11.23 microdeletion) is still lacking. Based on laboratory (Study I) and home sleep records (Study II) here we report WS-related features of the patterns of antero-posterior 8-16. Hz non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep EEG power distributions. Participants in Study I were 9 WS and 9 typically developing (TD) controls matched for age (14-29 years) and sex, and sleeping for two consecutive nights in the laboratory. WS participants were characterized by region-independent decreases in 10.50-12.50. Hz and central increases in 14.75-15.75. Hz EEG power. Region-independent decreases and increases in z-scores of the spectra were observed in the 10.25-12.25. Hz and 14-16. Hz ranges, respectively. Moreover, in the EEG spectra of participants with WS a lower probability for the emergence of a frontally dominant peak was observed. Parietal fast sigma peaks and the antero-posterior shifts in power distributions were of higher frequencies in WS (∼1. Hz difference). A 1 year follow-up of 9 WS and 3 TD participants, as well as their inclusion into larger samples (20 WS and 20 TD, age: 6-29 years) of a two-night ambulatory home polysomnography study confirmed the WS-specific decrease in alpha/low sigma power (8-11.75. Hz) and the pattern of z-score differences (decreases: 8.50-11.25. Hz; increases: 13.5-14. Hz), including the antero-posterior shifts in power distribution (0.5. Hz) and some features of the spectral peaks. Altogether these data suggest a decrease in alpha/low sigma power, as well as a redistribution of NREM sleep 8-16. Hz EEG power toward the higher frequencies and/or a higher frequency of NREM sleep thalamocortical oscillations in WS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in developmental disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Cortical synchronization
  • NREM
  • Sleep EEG
  • Sleep spindles
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this