From Big Medical Encyclopedia

NOCTAMBULATION (somnambulismus; lat. somnus a dream + ambulare to go, stroll; synonym: lunacy, lunacy) — the usual automated actions and the movements during sleep with the subsequent amnesia.

The patient, is more often the child, sits down in beds, then gets up, paces about the room, makes these or those usual rather coordinate movements (undresses, puts on, washes, puts or touches objects), then is returned to a bed or lays down in other place, continuing the interrupted dream. At the same time eyes more often happen open, but the look is not fixed. Quite often S. is followed by a conversation in a dream. The speech contact with the patient is impossible, however in nek-ry cases it is possible to achieve implementation of terse orders by it.

Etiologically S. can be manifestation of a neurasthenia, hysteria, nek-ry psychopathic states, incidental expression of residual and organic disturbances and paroxysmal frustration in the Initial stage epilepsies (see), especially so-called temporal. In S.'s pathogeny significance is attached to disturbances of a phase of slow dream (see).

It is necessary to distinguish so-called neurotic S. from the paroxysmal S. arising at epilepsy. The neurotic S. inherent to almost exclusively children's age differs in incidental character, arises in connection with the concerning experiences of day. Actions at it can be connected with the maintenance of dreams; the partial contact with the child is quite often possible. At S.'s epilepsy has regular and same character, quite often is followed by an involuntary urination, the contact with the patient is impossible; auxiliary value for such S.'s diagnosis has EEG (see. Elektroentsefalografiya ).

S.'s treatment is directed to a basic disease; normalization of a dream matters (see).

Forecast favorable; paroxysmal S. can be replaced by other paroxysmal attacks, including convulsive.

Prevention consists in the prevention of diseases, at to-rykh it is observed.

Bibliography: Garbuzov V. I., Zakharov A. I. and Isaev D. N. Neurosises at children and their treatment, page 112, L., 1974; About l and A. Ts N. A pathological dream at children, page 187, L., 1979; Kovalyov V. V. Psychiatry of children's age, page 171, 396, M., 1979; Sukhareva G. E. Lectures on psychiatry of children's age, page 152, M., 1974; G 6 1 1 n i t z G. Neuropsychiatrie des K indes-und Jugend-alters, S. 320, Jena, 1970; H a r-b an u e r H. u. a. Lehrbuch der speziellen Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrie, S. 145, B _u. a., 1980.

V. V. Kovalyov.