More Awareness Needed for Sleep Health and Pediatric Epilepsy: Renee Shellhaas, MD, MS, FAES


The professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, spoke about sleep-wake patterns in epilepsy based on a special lecture from the 2022 AES Annual meeting. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes 

“Sleep is a very important issue for parents and for children with epilepsy. Yet, we have very few data to really guide our practice. We know that most often, nobody asks a parent about their child's sleep, and even when there are pretty significant sleep disorders, a lot of times kids aren't evaluated.”

Across the lifespan, there are some considerations that should be addressed in terms of patient care for sleep and epilepsy. The current general challenges within the field are that the bidirectional interactions between sleep, circadian rhythms, and epilepsy are overlooked when it comes to the clinical care of patients, which impacts their quality of life. Additionally, the approach to evaluating these factors for patients at different stages of life is frequently not appreciated.

Renee Shellhaas, MD, MS, FAES, a pediatric neurologist, gave a talk about the development of sleep-wake patterns in neonates and interaction with epilepsy in a special lecture at the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee. In the session, she highlighted the interactions between sleep and epilepsy along with how those interactions are considered by clinicians.

Shellhaas, a professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, recently had an interview with NeurologyLive® at the 2022 AES annual meeting to discuss more about sleep and epilepsy across the lifespan, specifically with pediatric epilepsy. She also mentioned what she hypothesizes could help with sleep-wake cycling and possibly alter the trajectory of development for newborns.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2022.

1. Shellhaas R. Development of Sleep-Wake Patterns in Neonates and Interaction with Epilepsy. Presented at: AES Annual Meeting; December 2-6, 2022; Nashville, TN, and virtual. Special lecture.
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