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Idiopathic hypersomnia with a video recording of a spontaneous sleep attack: A case report

posted on 2023-08-02, 03:46 authored by Takamasa Asaga, Kenichi HashimotoKenichi Hashimoto, Yusuke Kawamura, Naoya Fujita, Motohiro Kimata, Akinori Sekizawa, Yosuke Ono, Yasuhiro Obuchi, Nanase Kobayashi, Hideto Hirasawa, Takashi Kanbayashi, Yuji Tanaka



Rationale: Although patients with central disorders of hypersomnolence (CDH) exhibit characteristic symptoms of hypersomnia frequently, it takes 5–15 years from the onset for its diagnosis due to the lack of symptom recognition. Here, we present a case of idiopathic hypersomnia (IH), a CDH, wherein early diagnosis was aided by a video footage of a spontaneous sleep attack.

Patient concerns: A 21-year-old man lost consciousness while driving and experienced an accident. He had complained of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) over half a year. During his hospitalization for close monitoring of the loss of consciousness, an in-room surveillance camera captured a 14-min long spontaneous sleep attack, during which he experienced general muscle weakness and loss of consciousness without warnings or convulsions leading to a fall from the bed. There were no abnormalities in vital signs.

Diagnoses: There was no significant cataplexy and less than two sleep-onset rapid eye movements in two sleep latency tests, with a mean sleep latency of 2.1 and 4.6 minutes. Other sleep deprivation syndromes were excluded from differential diagnosis and finally a diagnosis of IH was confirmed according to the criteria of the Third Edition of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. During the course of the disease, attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and a gaming disorder also diagnosed. 

Interventions: Pharmacological treatment with modafinil was administered for IH and methylphenidate for ADHD. Cognitive behavioral therapy was performed for the gaming disorder.

Outcomes: The EDS improved, and sleep attacks were no longer observed. The disruption of daily life caused by the gaming disorder was also reduced.

Lessons: Video recordings of sleep attacks are beneficial for identifying the cause of loss of consciousness. Home video recordings may be helpful in the early diagnosis of IH.


AMED grants JP19dm0908001, JP20dm0107162, and JP21zf0127005 to TK and KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research ((C):19 K08037, 21K07538, and 22K07571) to TK.


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Department of General Medicine National Defense Medical College

Country of Origin

  • Japan

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