Need for Increased Multidisciplinary Study of Newborn and Infant Sleep in Epilepsy: Renee Shellhaas, MD, MS, FAES


The professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis spoke about the field of newborn sleep and epilepsy based on a special lecture from the 2022 AES annual meeting. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“Newborn and infant sleep is really a field that's wide open for discovery. There are a lot of fundamental questions that we don't fully understand yet. Again, raising awareness so that we can bring more really smart people in to study these various issues is super important.”

In the clinical practice of sleep and epilepsy, research that needs additional consideration is understanding the interactions between the two conditions, especially across the different stages of life, as both have a role in the patient’s quality of life. It’s been known that medications for epilepsy have sedative factors that may also impact the patient’s sleeping patterns, and as general rule, clinicians have prescribed the lowest effective dose.

At the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee, Renee Shellhaas, MD, MS, FAES, pediatric neurologist, gave a special lecture on epilepsy and its relation to the development of sleep-wake patterns in neonates. During the session, she spoke about how the interactions of sleep and epilepsy are considered by clinicians for the evaluation of the patient’s treatment.

Recently, in an interview with NeurologyLive,® Shellhaas, professor of neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, further discussed the treatment plans for patients with epilepsy and the impact they have on patients’ sleep. She also spoke on research needs within the field of sleep and epilepsy, along with the need for increased awareness.

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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