May 9, 2017 E-Pearl of the Week: Agrypnia excitata

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May 9, 2017

Agrypnia excitata

Agrypnia and excitata are ancient Greek words which mean sleeplessness and hyperactivity respectively. Agrypnia excitata (AE) is characterized by lack of sleep coupled with excessive motor and autonomic hyperactivity. Oneiric stupor is a distinctive feature of AE where patients perform simple gestures mimicking daily life activities¹. AE is thought to be caused by thalamo-limbic circuits dysfunction associated with fatal familial insomnia, Morvan syndrome, and delirium tremens¹. However, the spectrum is expanding with a recent case reporting AE in the setting of corticobasal syndrome². Lack of sleep spindles and persistence of stage 1 non-REM sleep are the main electroencephalographic features.


  1. Provini F. Agrypnia excitata. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2013; 13: 341.
  2. Rodriguez-Porcel F, Lowder L, Rademakers R, et al. Fulminant corticobasal degeneration: Agrypnia excitata in corticobasal syndrome. Neurology 2016; 86: 1164-1166.

Submitted by Mamoun Saeed, MD, Neurology Resident, Beaumont Hospital. 

Dr. Mamoun Saeed reports no disclosures.

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