Restless sleep predict Parkinson’s disease?

Restless sleep predict Parkinson’s disease?

Tim Newman

Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. For the first time, researchers demonstrate that inflammation may play a key role.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is linked with vivid and often frightening dreams combined with nocturnal motor activity. In other words, people with the condition act out their dreams.

Tim Newman (Neuroscientist)

Dreaming occurs during REM sleep. In this sleep phase, our bodies are effectively paralyzed and our muscles remain relaxed; this prevents us from thrashing around.

Individuals with RBD, however, can experience violent arm and leg movements and even shout during their dreams. This is referred to as dream-enacting behavior.

Episodes might only occur every so often, or they can appear multiple times during one night. RBD generally appears in mid- to later life and tends to get worse over time. The condition can be distressing and cause injury to the individual and their sleeping partner.

RBD and Parkinson’s disease: Researchers have found that RBD is linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life.

The condition can precede Parkinson’s disease and other dementias by half a century. In fact, most people with RBD will go on to develop Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia, or multiple system atrophy. But why this relationship exists is unclear.

Recently, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark set out to investigate this interaction in more detail. Of particular interest to the researchers was the role of neuroinflammation. Their findings are published this week in The Lancet Neurology.

Author: Neuroscientist, Manchester Uk,

 

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