Idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep disorder: Associations with antidepressants, psychiatric diagnoses, and other factors, in relation to age of onset

Paul T. Teman, Maja Tippmann-Peikert, Michael H. Silber, Nancy L. Slocumb, Robert R Auger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Background: A retrospective, case-control chart review was performed to examine the relationship between the age of onset of idiopathic RBD and secondary associations. Methods: Forty-eight idiopathic RBD patients were divided into early-onset and late-onset groups, compared to each other, and to their respective non-RBD controls. Results: There were more females in the early-onset group as compared to their older counterparts (45% vs. 11%, p = 0.007). Early-onset patients also had significantly more past and present psychiatric diagnoses [85% (both categories) vs. 46% and 36%, respectively, p < 0.01 for both comparisons] and antidepressant use (80% vs. 46%, p = 0.02) than the late-onset group. In comparison to non-RBD controls, early-onset patients again exhibited more psychiatric diagnoses (odds ratio = 17.0 [3.5-83.4], equivalent for past and present diagnoses) and antidepressant use (odds ratio = 12.0 [2.7-53.3]). Late-onset patients also had a higher frequency of past (odds ratio = 7.2 [1.8-29.6]) and present (odds ratio = 4.6 [1.1-19.3]) psychiatric diagnoses as compared to their non-RBD controls, but did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference in antidepressant use. There were otherwise no significant intergroup or intragroup differences with respect to the other assessed variables. Conclusions: Although causality cannot be inferred, numerous implications can be entertained, particularly in the early-onset group, including direct or indirect correlations with medication use and/or psychopathology and the development of RBD. The relatively high number of females in the early-onset group suggests a unique clinical profile for a condition typically characterized as male-predominant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009



  • Antidepressants
  • Idiopathic RBD
  • Medications
  • Psychiatric diagnoses
  • Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD)
  • Substances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this