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February 21, 2013
The exploding head syndrome
The exploding head syndrome is a curious phenomenon in which patients describe a frightening loud noise which they experience as they are falling asleep or less frequently the noise awakens them from sleep. Patients describe the noise as loud violent bang, a bomb explosion, shotgun, thunderclap, enormous roar or crack of lightning and so on. These phenomena are followed by fear, terror and palpitations or a forceful heartbeat. They may recur several times each night or may be more occasional. Although extremely disturbing to the patient, the exploding head syndrome is usually a benign condition.
Submitted by: John McKinley MRCP (UK), Fellow in Movement Disorders, Dublin, Ireland
Disclosure: Dr. McKinley reports no disclosures.
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