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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sleep deprivation, epilepsy and the ability to operate a motor vehicle.

This study is based upon 207 examinations for the evaluation of the ability to operate a motor vehicle in persons with transient disturbances of the cerebral function. In 26 persons, the EEG was repeated after sleep deprivation. There was EEG activation with transient disturbances in seven cases (not present in the routine EEG). In five individuals, there were transient disturbances in the routine EEG as well as after sleep deprivation. No abnormalities were recorded in 14 persons. No driver's license could be granted in five patients with unequivocal spike wave complexes or spike wave paroxysms following sleep deprivation. In two patients, however, the permission to drive could be granted. These patients showed spike wave patterns in the routine EEG, but no seizures had occurred for several years and their performance in the experimental-psychological evaluation (with simulator) were superior. In persons with suspected and clinically obscure cerebral attacks, as well as in persons with known seizure disorder but seizure-free for several years, the EEG after sleep deprivation must be regarded as a highly informative test which may crucially influence the decision. The method of activation corresponds with a type of stress with which the motorist must deal frequently. This test can be carried out on an outpatient basis and with negligible iatrogenic damage.[1]


  1. Sleep deprivation, epilepsy and the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Kugler, J., Hiedl, A., Spatz, R. Epilepsy Res. Suppl. (1991) [Pubmed]
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