The effects of isolated brainstem lesions on human REM sleep

Mark E. Landau, Janice Y. Maldonado, Bahman Jabbari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical and electrophysiologic data support the role of multiple brainstem structures responsible for sleep architecture. To determine if patients with isolated brainstem lesions have detectable abnormalities of sleep architecture with polysomnography (PSG). Method: The objective of this study is to determine if patients with isolated brainstem lesions defined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and without sleep complaints, underwent PSG. The data was compared to age-matched controls. Eight patients met inclusion criteria. Of the eight locations, one was midbrain, two were pontomesencephalic, four were pontine and one was pontomedullary. Results: Four of the eight pat ients had a decreased percentage of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The abnormal studies occurred in patients with a right paramedian pontine infarct, a left pontomedullary cavernous hemangioma (CH), a left pontine CH, and a right pontomesencephalic CH. REM sleep, as a percentage of total bed time, was 8.7, 12.3, 14.8, and 16.7%, respectively. Conclusion: These findings concur with non-human d ata that depict pontine structures as the major generators of REM sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Brainstem
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Polysomnography
  • REM
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology


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