Course and impact of sleep disturbance in newly diagnosed epilepsy: A prospective registry study

Xu, Ying, Hackett, Maree orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1211-9087, Nikpour, Armin, Somerville, Ernest, Bleasel, Andrew, Ireland, Carol, Ghougassian, Daniel F., Anderson, Craig S. and Glozier, Nick (2020) Course and impact of sleep disturbance in newly diagnosed epilepsy: A prospective registry study. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery . p. 105963. ISSN 0303-8467

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To determine the course of sleep distrurbance (insomnia symptoms and short sleep duration) after a diagnosis of epilepsy and their associations with seizure control, mood, disability, and quality of life.

Patients and methods
One hundred and sixty-nine adults were drawn from the Sydney Epilepsy Incidence Study to Measure Illness Consequences (SEISMIC), a prospective, multicenter, community-wide study in Sydney, Australia. Socio-demographic, psychosocial, clinical characteristics, and information on sleep disturbance were obtained early (median 48 [IQR15-113] days) after a diagnosis of epilepsy, and at 12 months. Logistic regression models were used to determine associations between patterns of sleep disturbance with outcomes at 12 months.

Insomnia symptoms and/or short sleep duration were present in 18-23% of participants at both time points, with over half (54-61%) showing a chronic pattern. There was no association of sleep disturbance pattern with recurrent seizures, medication use or disability. Chronic insomnia symptoms and short sleep duration were strongly associated with worse mental health (aOR 3.76, 95% CI 1.28-11.06; and aOR 5.41, 95% CI 1.86-15.79) and poorer quality of life at 12 months (aOR 3.02, 95% CI 1.03-8.84; and aOR 3.11, 95% CI 1.10-8.82), after adjusting for clinical features of epilepsy and comorbidity. Those whose sleep disturbance remitted had no adverse outcomes.

Insomnia symptoms and short sleep duration are less common in people with recently-diagnosed than chronic epilepsy. The temporal association with poor psycholosocial outcomes supports specific interventions addressing sleep disturbance.

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