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Periodic K-alpha sleep EEG activity & periodic limb movements during sleep: comparisons of clinical features & sleep parameters

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www.ProHealth.com • April 10, 1996


The K-alpha sleep electroencephalographic (EEG) phenomenon is
characterized by periodic (approximately 20-40 seconds)
K-complexes, immediately followed by alpha-EEG activity
(7.5-11 Hz) of 0.5- to 5.0-second duration. A group of 14
subjects with the periodic K-alpha anomaly was found to have
a similar distribution pattern of interevent intervals as
compared with previously published data for sleep-related
periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS). Sleep parameters
and somatic symptoms of 30 patients with K-alpha were
compared with 30 patients with PLMS. The periodic K-alpha
group was predominantly female, younger, exhibiting more
slow-wave sleep, gastrointestinal symptoms and muscular
complaints and fewer movement arousals on overnight
polysomnography. The K-alpha group presented uniformly with
complaints of unrefreshing sleep, often associated with
fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The PLMS group was
predominantly male, showed greater sleep disruption and
presented with a variety of sleep-related symptoms.

MacFarlane JG, Shahal B, Mously C, Moldofsky H




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