Neurological Sciences, vol.44, no.4, pp.1351-1360, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022, Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia.Background: Sleep disorders in patients with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) are increasingly reported. Early recognition and treatment have significant importance regarding the potential of sleep disorders’ effect on morbidity and even mortality. There are a limited number of studies related to polysomnography (PSG) in these patients. Here, we report the clinical and PSG data of patients with AE and sleep disorders, with a particular interest in sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD). Methods: Seventeen patients with diagnosed AE and acute or subacute onset sleep complaints who underwent video-electroencephalography-PSG recordings in our tertiary center were investigated. Results: The mean age was 50, with eight females and nine males. The detected antibodies were against leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1(LGI-1) in 6, anti-contactin-associated protein-2(CASPR2) in 3, voltage-gated potassium channel complex antigens(VGKC) in 1, anti-glycine in 1, dipeptidyl-peptidase-like protein-6(DPPX) in 1, anti-Hu in 1, and anti-amphiphysin in 1. All commercially available and known autoimmune encephalitis-related antibodies were negative in 3 of the patients. Final diagnosis after PSG was circadian rhythm sleep disorder (n = 3), periodic limb movement disorder (n = 3), insomnia (n = 5), central apnea with or without Cheyne–Stokes breathing (CSB) (n = 4), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (n = 4), non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and REM parasomnia (n = 8), faciobrachial dystonic seizures (n = 2), and subclinical seizures (n = 1). Sleep microstructure was disrupted in 9, REM periods without atonia occurred in 4, and brief sleep fragments consisting of theta activity interspersed with faster rhythms existed in 7 patients. Nearly half of our patients (47%) had SRBD, and the mean apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) was 14. Conclusions: Sleep disorders are frequent and essential components of AEs. Systematic clinical questionnaires and routine PSG assessments would significantly impact the correct diagnosis and proper treatment of SRBD and the overall prognosis of AE.