REM Sleep Behavior Disorder in Parkinson's Disease and Other Synucleinopathies

Erik K St Louis, Angelica R. Boeve, Bradley F Boeve

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is characterized by dream enactment and complex motor behaviors during rapid eye movement sleep and rapid eye movement sleep atonia loss (rapid eye movement sleep without atonia) during polysomnography. Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder may be idiopathic or symptomatic and in both settings is highly associated with synucleinopathy neurodegeneration, especially Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, and pure autonomic failure. Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder frequently manifests years to decades prior to overt motor, cognitive, or autonomic impairments as the presenting manifestation of synucleinopathy, along with other subtler prodromal “soft” signs of hyposmia, constipation, and orthostatic hypotension. Between 35% and 91.9% of patients initially diagnosed with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder at a sleep center later develop a defined neurodegenerative disease. Less is known about the long-term prognosis of community-dwelling younger patients, especially women, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder associated with antidepressant medications. Patients with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder are frequently prone to sleep-related injuries and should be treated to prevent injury with either melatonin 3-12 mg or clonazepam 0.5-2.0 mg to limit injury potential. Further evidence-based studies about rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder are greatly needed, both to enable accurate prognostic prediction of end synucleinopathy phenotypes for individual patients and to support the application of symptomatic and neuroprotective therapies. Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder as a prodromal synucleinopathy represents a defined time point at which neuroprotective therapies could potentially be applied for the prevention of Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, and pure autonomic failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-658
Number of pages14
JournalMovement Disorders
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • multiple system atrophy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • polysomnography
  • pure autonomic failure
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • REM sleep without atonia
  • synucleinopathy
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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