Sleep has been shown to be a global phenomenon in which the presence of local processes of both activation and deactivation are finely orchestrated. Dysfunctional and independent action of the systems involved in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and wakefulness is deemed to be at the basis of arousal parasomnias. We show, in a patient with confusional arousals, persistence of sleep in the hippocampal and frontal associative cortices in contrast to the presence of awakening in the motor, cingulate, insular, amygdalar and temporopolar cortices. The clinical features of the confusional arousals in this patient are highly consistent with a dysfunctional coexistence of local cortical arousal and local cortical sleep. © 2012 European Sleep Research Society.
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