16 years of experience
Video profile
Ucla Neurological Services
300 Medical Plz
Suite B200
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Locations and availability (3)

Education ?

Medical School Score
George Washington University (1994)
  • Currently 2 of 4 apples

Awards & Distinctions ?

Diplomate, American Boards of Psychiatry and Neurology
Castle Connolly's Top Doctors™ (2013)
Patients' Choice 5th Anniversary Award (2012 - 2013)
Patients' Choice Award (2008 - 2013)
Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2010 - 2013)
Top 10 Doctor - State (2014)
Top 10 Doctor - Metro Area (2014)
Los Angeles Metro Area
Top 10 Doctor - City (2014)
Los Angeles, CA
Ronald Reagan Ucla Medical Center
Associate Professor of Neurology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Affiliations ?

Dr. Avidan is affiliated with 6 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations



  • UCLA Medical Center
    10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
    • Currently 4 of 4 crosses
    Top 25%
  • Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center
    1250 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
    • Currently 3 of 4 crosses
    Top 50%
  • University of California - Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    757 Westwood Plz, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • John Muir Medical Center-Concord Campus
  • UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
  • Mattel Chldns Hosp. At Ucla
    10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Avidan has contributed to 21 publications.
    Title The Parasomnias: Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Diagnostic Approach.
    Date August 2010
    Journal Clinics in Chest Medicine

    Parasomnias are a group of disorders exclusive to sleep and wake-to-sleep transition that encompass arousals with abnormal motor, behavioral, or sensory experiences. Sensory experiences often involve but are not limited to perceptions, dreamlike hallucinatory experiences, and autonomic symptoms. When accompanied with excessive motoric activity and other complex motor behaviors, these parasomnnias can be disruptive to the patient and bed partners. Motor behaviors may or may not be restricted to bed but can become dangerous when the subject ambulates or is agitated. The behaviors are inappropriate for the time of occurrence but may seem purposeful or goal directed. Most parasomnias are more common in children and decrease in frequency as they get older. Parasomnias have been reported in approximately 4% of the adult population.

    Title Sleep-disordered Breathing and Stroke.
    Date April 2009
    Journal Reviews in Neurological Diseases

    Sleep and stroke have an important and fascinating interaction. Patients with sleep-disordered breathing present with cardiovascular heart disease, cognitive decline, and increased risk of stroke. Stroke adversely affects sleep and factors such as prolonged immobilization, chronic pain, nocturnal hypoxia, and depression, which can also adversely impact sleep quality. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), one of the most common and serious sleep disturbances, manifests itself in almost 50% of all stroke patients. Sleep apnea patients who experience a stroke may be at a greater impairment in their rehabilitation potential and have increased risk of secondary stroke and mortality. Given these factors, the practicing neurologist should possess the skills to appropriately recognize, rapidly diagnose, and properly manage stroke patients with OSA.

    Title Clinical Neurology of Insomnia in Neurodegenerative and Other Disorders of Neurological Function.
    Date October 2007
    Journal Reviews in Neurological Diseases

    Complaints of insomnia are prevalent in neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. Neurologists therefore must be aware of the underlying causes, pathophysiologic mechanisms, and potential interventions when encountering a patient with underlying neurological disorders who is also complaining of poor sleep and insomnia. This article describes the underlying pathophysiology, diagnostic approaches, and potential interventions for insomnia in the neurological patient. Clinicians need to recognize that insomnia in older patients with underlying neurological disorders is not only unique, but also complex, demanding comprehensive and careful evaluation and management. Treatment of insomnia should start by addressing nonpharmacologic options, including improvements in sleep hygiene, improving sunlight exposure during the day, and searching for underlying reversible causes, such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, periodic leg movements, and circadian rhythm disturbances, all of which can precipitate insomnia when left untreated. Some patients may benefit from targeted and carefully tailored pharmacologic treatment. Successful amelioration of insomnia can ultimately be a very rewarding experience for the patient, family members, and the practitioner.

    Title Sleep Medicine Content of Major Medical Textbooks Continues to Be Underrepresented.
    Date August 2007
    Journal Sleep Medicine

    OBJECTIVE: Sleep-related material in medical textbooks may be the only method by which physicians educate themselves about sleep. In the last decade significant progress in sleep research has been made, but how textbooks in relevant fields reflect it has not been examined. Our purpose was to review and compare (2005 with 1998) sleep content in representative medical textbooks. METHODS: Sleep content of the latest edition of textbooks in four specialties was evaluated. Present sleep content in seven textbooks was compared with that found in 1998. Numbers of pages devoted to sleep were counted and reported for the subjects covered and for the specialty of the textbook. RESULTS: Thirty-one textbooks were examined for current content and seven textbooks for content comparison. Sleep coverage in medical textbooks uniformly received less than 2% of the text volume. Focus of topics covered varied with specialty. Compared with 1998, the proportion of pages devoted to sleep remained the same or decreased. Coverage of new topics remained minimal. CONCLUSIONS: Major medical textbooks present small amounts of sleep content and few provide a comprehensive overview of sleep medicine. In comparison to textbook editions from the 1990s, current editions still devote little attention to sleep, and the diversity of topics has not improved.

    Title Eye Movements During Sleep Recording.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : Jcsm : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
    Title The Development of Central Sleep Apnea with an Oral Appliance.
    Date August 2006
    Journal Sleep Medicine
    Title The Development of Central Sleep Apnea with an Oral Appliance.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Sleep Medicine
    Title Pregnancy Associated with Daytime Sleepiness and Nighttime Restlessness.
    Date February 2006
    Journal Sleep Medicine
    Title Pregnancy Associated with Daytime Sleepiness and Nighttime Restlessness.
    Date November 2005
    Journal Sleep Medicine
    Title Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Elderly Patients.
    Date October 2005
    Journal Current Treatment Options in Neurology

    Sleep disorders are common among the elderly and are associated with diminished quality of life, increased risk for development of psychiatric disorders, inappropriate use of sleep aids, and decreased daytime functioning. The most common and important sleep disorders in the elderly include insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and the advanced sleep phase syndrome. In this article, we summarize the current treatment strategies for each of these sleep-related disorders. Before contemplating specific treatments, the authors recommend that more conservative and nonpharmacologic therapies be attempted first because the elderly are more likely to have medication side effects or complications related to surgery. Many sleep problems can be treated by simple sleep hygiene modifications that can be implemented and adopted easily. For others, therapies that specifically consider older adults may be required. For each of the sleep disorders we provide an updated discussion of therapies beginning with diet and lifestyle, pharmacologic treatment, interventional procedures, surgery, assistive devices, physical and speech therapy, exercise, and emerging therapies with specific considerations for older adults.

    Title Sleep Disorders in the Older Patient.
    Date September 2005
    Journal Primary Care

    Sleep changes dramatically with old age. Subjective and objective measures demonstrate an increase in sleep and wake disturbances with advancing age. The older person has a more fragmented sleep, sleeps less deeply, and tends to experience early morning awakenings. When older patients have sleep disorders, they often present with excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, or abnormal motor activity. In making the appropriate diagnosis, the role of the provider is to review the patient's medical history,psychiatric history, medications, underlying medical illnesses, and sleep-wake pattern. The aging process itself does not cause sleep problems and sleep requirements do not decrease with advanced age. The prevalence of insomnia, sleep-related breathing disorder, PLMS, and RLS increases with age and may lead to poor sleep quality. Because many sleep disorders are potentially reversible, it is the responsibility of the primary care provider to screen for these problems. A carefully planned clinical decision-making process when encountering a sleep disturbance in the older patient can greatly enhance quality of life and daytime function.

    Title Insomnia and Hypnotic Use, Recorded in the Minimum Data Set, As Predictors of Falls and Hip Fractures in Michigan Nursing Homes.
    Date August 2005
    Journal Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

    OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between insomnia, hypnotic use, falls, and hip fractures in older people. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a large, longitudinal, assessment database. SETTING: Four hundred thirty-seven nursing homes in Michigan. PARTICIPANTS: Residents aged 65 and older in 2001 with a baseline Minimum Data Set assessment and a follow-up 150 to 210 days later. MEASUREMENTS: Logistic regression modeled any follow-up report of fall or hip fracture. Predictors were baseline reports of insomnia (previous month) and use of hypnotics (previous week). Potential confounds taken into account included standard measures of functional status, cognitive status, intensity of resource utilization, proximity to death, illness burden, number of medications, emergency room visits, nursing home new admission, age, and sex. RESULTS: In 34,163 nursing home residents (76% women, mean age+/-standard deviation 84+/-8), hypnotic use did not predict falls (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.98, 1.30). In contrast, insomnia did predict future falls (AOR=1.52, 95% CI=1.38, 1.66). Untreated insomnia (AOR=1.55, 95% CI=1.41, 1.71) and hypnotic-treated (unresponsive) insomnia (AOR=1.32, 95% CI=1.02, 1.70) predicted more falls than did the absence of insomnia. After adjustment for confounding variables, insomnia and hypnotic use were not associated with subsequent hip fracture. CONCLUSION: In elderly nursing home residents, insomnia, but not hypnotic use, is associated with a greater risk of subsequent falls. Future studies will need to confirm these findings and determine whether appropriate hypnotic use can protect against future falls.

    Title Sleep in the Geriatric Patient Population.
    Date May 2005
    Journal Seminars in Neurology

    Older patients often suffer from sleep disturbances caused by age-related physiological changes, polypharmacy, changes in circadian rhythm, retirement, and loss of spouse. Many seniors have readily diagnosed sleep disorders that can be treated to achieve improvement in daytime somnolence or cognitive impairments. After a discussion of normal age-related changes in sleep, specific sleep pathologies common in the elderly will be reviewed, including sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, advanced sleep phase syndrome, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.

    Title Case Studies in Sleep Medicine.
    Date May 2005
    Journal Seminars in Neurology
    Title Sleep-disordered Breathing in Michigan: a Practice Pattern Survey.
    Date April 2004
    Journal Sleep & Breathing = Schlaf & Atmung

    OBJECTIVES: This survey sought to determine whether self-professed sleep specialists in the State of Michigan show practice variations in the diagnosis and management of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), and whether such variations occur between pulmonologists and neurologists. METHODS: Questionnaires on practice volume and patterns during the prior 12 months were mailed to physician members of the Michigan Sleep Disorders Association ( n = 119); 67 were completed and returned. RESULTS: Respondents reported that they personally saw a median of 8 new patients each week for suspected SDB; estimates were that 86% of these patients were eventually confirmed to have SDB. Most patients (82%) had laboratory-based polysomnography after an initial clinic evaluation, and most (69%) of those treated for SDB received continuous positive airway pressure. However, practice patterns differed substantially among respondents, even when the analysis was limited to the 42 who reported board certification by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. For example, among all surveyed practices the likelihood that suspected SDB would be evaluated with a split-night diagnostic and treatment polysomnogram varied from 0 to 90%. The likelihood of SDB treatment with bilevel positive airway pressure varied from 0 to 50%, with automatically titrating devices from 0 to 100%, with surgery from 0 to 100% (0 to 50% among certified practitioners), and with oral appliances from 0 to 20%. The practice patterns of pulmonologists and neurologists did not differ significantly. CONCLUSION: Approaches to SDB vary widely in Michigan, though not according to clinician background in pulmonary medicine or neurology. A patient's experience, in both assessment and treatment, could differ substantially based on which clinician is consulted.

    Title Insomnia in the Geriatric Patient.
    Date January 2004
    Journal Clinical Cornerstone

    Insomnia in the geriatric patient is unique and complex, requiring a comprehensive and careful evaluation. Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint reported by persons > 60 years. It is defined as the inability to initiate or maintain sleep, and the etiology can be multifactorial. Insomnia in the geriatric patient may be due to a primary sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movements in sleep, circadian rhythm disorders, or restless legs syndrome, or it may be secondary to underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, medication effects, or psychosocial factors. When insomnia becomes chronic, it may exacerbate medical and psychiatric illnesses. Insomnia can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which may result in disturbed intellect, impaired cognition, confusion, psychomotor retardation, or increased risk of injury, any of which can compromise the patient's quality of life and create social and economic burdens for caregivers. This article discusses the recommended diagnostic and treatment approaches that may be used by the clinician in treating the geriatric patient. Case studies are presented to illustrate diagnoses of insomnia and therapeutic interventions.

    Title Websites on Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
    Date January 2004
    Journal Sleep Medicine
    Title Ess Dot Com.
    Date December 2003
    Journal Sleep Medicine

    BACKGROUND: The Internet is a rich but unregulated source of information, and no studies have evaluated sleep medicine content designed for patient or public use. OBJECTIVE: To examine how the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is presented on the World Wide Web. METHODS: We searched the web with eight search engines, in November 2000, for the terms 'ESS' or 'Epworth Sleepiness Scale' and examined every site that listed the full ESS. RESULTS: The 91 sites were sponsored by academic institutions (n=11), private medical groups (34), corporations (21), and web information services (25). No information on interpretation of ESS results was given by 24 (26%) of the sites; 37 (41%) of the sites stated that a score greater than 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 merits consultation with a clinician. Few sites mentioned that insufficient sleep and depression are among the most common causes of excessive sleepiness, or that the meaning and value of the ESS are somewhat controversial.CONCLUSION: The ESS is widely available on web sites designed for public use, but information that would allow appropriate interpretation of results is often lacking, misleading, or incomplete.

    Title Sleep Changes and Disorders in the Elderly Patient.
    Date September 2002
    Journal Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

    Sleep disorders are very common among older patients. Our population as a whole is experiencing substantial growth in the geriatric population. Thus, it is all the more prudent that healthcare professionals become familiar with the major sleep disorders that affect the older patient, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. This paper deals with the various sleep changes that take place in the course of the aging process and with the assessment of sleep disorders in the older patient. Special attention is paid to sleep-disordered breathing, periodic limb-movement disorder of sleep, insomnia, and circadian rhythm anthology, as well as parasomnias that are unique to the older patient. The final section of the paper deals with specific neurologic disorders and their impact on sleep patterns.

    Title An Introduction to Snoring and Sleep Apnea for Dental Practitioners.
    Date January 2002
    Journal The Journal of the Michigan Dental Association
    Title Webwatch.
    Journal Sleep Medicine

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