Electroencephalographic slow wave activity (SWA, 1-4 Hz) in non-deep sleep has been classified as a “pathological state” of the neural tissue. Decreased bimanual coordination and slow wave activity can be observed in brain diseases like stroke and neurological degenerative disorders. We set out to investigate the relation of decreased coordination of spontaneous hand movements to regional slow wave activity in epileptic patients without motor deficits. In 153 patients with focal or generalized epileptic seizures we measured the occurrence of regional SWA by means of 24-hour video-electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and the spontaneous hand movements using actiwatches on either wrist. It was found that the coordination of spontaneous hand movements of daily living was impaired in patients with regional slow wave activity as compared with patients without regional slow wave activity. In contrast, the amount of movement activity did not differ between the two hands. Also, there were no differences in patients with epileptic discharges as compared with patients without epileptic discharges. These findings indicated that decreased spontaneous bimanual coordination is related to regional slow wave activity but not to decreased movement generation or the presence of epileptic discharges.
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