In a nutshell
This study evaluated how REM sleep behavior disorder was related to the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Results showed that patients with REM sleep disorder experienced faster progression of certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson's disease is caused by the breakdown and death of nerves within the brain that are important for movement and coordination. The breakdown of cells is associated with the build-up of proteins in the brain. The exact causes of Parkinson’s are unknown, but there have been links to genetic factors and environmental exposures. REM sleep is a stage of sleep that is important for thought and behaviour function. REM sleep is usually where dreaming occurs, and the person sleeping does not move. REM sleep behavior disorder is a disorder where people move and act out their dreams. This study wanted to evaluate how if REM sleep behavior disorder was related in any way to Parkinson’s disease.
Methods & findings
This study followed 421 patients with Parkinson’s and 196 people without Parkinson’s. Patients were followed up every 6 months for 60 months. Outcomes were assessed based on different questionnaires to assess Parkinson’s symptoms, REM sleep disorder symptoms, and protein concentrations around the brain.
After 60 months results showed that patients with REM sleep behavior disorder and Parkinson’s were more likely to have faster progression of movement symptoms and loss of brain function compared to patients with Parkinson’s but no REM sleep behavior disorder. Patients with Parkinson’s and REM sleep behavior disorder were also more likely to have higher amounts of the proteins associated with Parkinson’s in their brain. People without Parkinson’s, but experience REM sleep behavior disorder did not experience any negative symptoms over time.
The bottom line
This study found that REM sleep behavior disorder led to a faster onset of Parkinson’s disease-related symptoms.
The fine print
This study reported a link between REM sleep behavior disorder and Parkinson’s, but cannot conclude why the relation between the two exists.
Consult your physician about different types of treatment for Parkinson’s.
Published By :
Aug 13, 2018
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