REM sleep behavior disorder may later lead to neurologic disorders

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A new study shows that a sleep disorder may be a sign of dementia or Parkinson's disease up to 50 years before the disorders are diagnosed. The research is published in the July 28, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Using Mayo Clinic records, researchers identified 27 people who experienced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder for at least 15 years before developing one of three conditions: Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies or multiple system atrophy. Multiple system atrophy is a disorder that causes symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. People with REM sleep behavior disorder often act out their dreams with violent movements, such as punching, which can injure themselves or bed partners.

The study found that the time between the start of the sleep disorder and the symptoms of the neurologic disorders ranged up to 50 years, with an average span of 25 years. Of the participants, 13 were diagnosed with dementia, 13 others were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and one person was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy.

"Our findings suggest that in some patients, conditions such as Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies have a very long span of activity within the brain and they also may have a long period of time where other symptoms aren't apparent," said study author Bradley F. Boeve, MD, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "More research is needed on this possible link so that scientists may be able to develop therapies that would slow down or stop the progression of these disorders years before the symptoms of Parkinson's disease or dementia appear."

It is not known how many people who experience REM disorder may develop diseases such as Parkinson's or dementia. A corresponding editorial noted there is no evidence that narcolepsy, with or without REM disorder, will later lead to neurodegenerative disorders.

SOURCE American Academy of Neurology

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Research identifies a unique protein fingerprint linked to very short sleep and increased diabetes risk