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Rhythmic movement disorder (head banging) in an adult during rapid eye movement sleep



Sleep-related rhythmic movements (head banging or body rocking) are extremely common in normal infants and young children, but less than 5% of children over the age of 5 years old exhibit these stereotyped motor behaviors. They characteristically occur during drowsiness or sleep onset rather than in deep sleep or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. We present a 27-year-old man with typical rhythmic movement disorder that had persisted into adult life and was restricted to REM sleep. This man is the oldest subject with this presentation reported to date and highlights the importance of recognizing this nocturnal movement disorder when it does occur in adults. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society