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Sleepwalkers sometimes remember what they've done
Date:3/13/2013

Three myths about sleepwalking sleepwalkers have no memory of their actions, sleepwalkers' behaviour is without motivation, and sleepwalking has no daytime impact are dispelled in a recent study led by Antonio Zadra of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Sacr-Coeur Hospital. Working from numerous studies over the last 15 years at the hospital's Centre for Advanced Studies in Sleep Medicine at the Hpital du Sacr-Cur de Montral and a thorough analysis of the literature, Zadra and his colleagues have raised the veil on sleepwalking and clarified the diagnostic criteria for researchers and clinicians. Their findings were published in Lancet Neurology.

Journalists are welcome to use the following responses in their own reports. Interviews and further information (including the original French text of this document) can be obtained by contacting media relations at the University of Montreal. The University of Montreal is officially known as Universit de Montral.

Question: What are the causes and consequences of sleepwalking?

A.Z.: "Several indicators suggest that a genetic factor is involved. In 80% of sleepwalkers, a family history of sleepwalking exists. The concordance of sleepwalking is five times higher in monozygotic twins compared to non-identical twins. Our studies have also shown that lack of sleep and stress can lead to sleepwalking. Any situation that disrupts sleep can result in sleepwalking episodes in predisposed individuals."

A.Z.: "Most sleepwalking episodes are harmless. Apart from the fact that the deep slow-wave sleep of sleepwalkers is fragmented, wanderings are usually brief and pose no danger, or when they do, it is minimal. In rare cases, wandering episodes may be longer, and sleepwalkers may injure themselves and put themselves or others in danger: some have even gone as far as driving a car!"

Question: It is said that the sleep disorder mainly affects children. Is this true?

A.Z.: "Many
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Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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