Sleep-related movement disorders and disturbances of motor control

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Review of the literature pertaining to clinical presentation, classification, epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep-related movement disorders and disturbances of motor control.

Recent findings

Sleep-related movement disorders and disturbances of motor control are typically characterized by positive motor symptoms and are often associated with sleep disturbances and consequent daytime symptoms (e.g. fatigue, sleepiness). They often represent the first or main manifestation of underlying disorders of the central nervous system, which require specific work-up and treatment. Diverse and often combined cause factors have been identified. Although recent data provide some evidence regarding abnormal activation and/or disinhibition of motor circuits during sleep, for the majority of these disorders the pathogenetic mechanisms remain speculative. The differential diagnosis is sometimes difficult and misdiagnoses are not infrequent. The diagnosis is based on clinical and video-polysomnographic findings. Treatment of sleep-related motor disturbances with few exceptions (e.g. restless legs/limbs syndrome) are based mainly on anecdotal reports or small series.

Summary

More state-of-the-art studies on the cause, pathophysiology, and treatment of sleep-related movement disorders and disturbances of motor control are needed.

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