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Postgraduate Education Corner: CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS IN SLEEP MEDICINE |

Clinical Identification of the Simple Sleep-Related Movement Disorders*

Arthur S. Walters, MD
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*From the Center for Sleep Disorders Treatment, Research & Education, New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, JFK Medical Center, Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education, Edison, NJ.

Correspondence to: Arthur Walters, MD, JFK Medical Center, New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, 65 James St, Edison, NJ 08818; e-mail ArtUMDNJ@aol.com



Chest. 2007;131(4):1260-1266. doi:10.1378/chest.06-1602
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Simple sleep-related movement disorders must be distinguished from daytime movement disorders that persist during sleep, sleep-related epilepsy, and parasomnias, which are generally characterized by activity that appears to be simultaneously complex, goal-directed, and purposeful but is outside the conscious awareness of the patient and, therefore, inappropriate. Once it is determined that the patient has a simple sleep-related movement disorder, the part of the body affected by the movement and the age of the patient give clues as to which sleep-related movement disorder is present. In some cases, all-night polysomnography with accompanying video may be necessary to make the diagnosis. Hypnic jerks (ie, sleep starts), bruxism, rhythmic movement disorder (ie, head banging/body rocking), and nocturnal leg cramps are discussed in addition to less well-appreciated disorders such as benign sleep myoclonus of infancy, excessive fragmentary myoclonus, and hypnagogic foot tremor/alternating leg muscle activation.

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