Violent Sleep Disorder Gives Clues to Parkinson’s
A rare sleep disorder thatِ causesِ people toِ punch andِ kick othersِ duringِ sleep mayِ haveِ some ofِ the sameِ risk factors asِ Parkinson’s disease, andِ could give researchers clues toِ predicting Parkinson’s manyِ years beforeِ it surfaces, a newِ study suggests.
The results revealed a number ofِ factors linked withِ anِ increased risk ofِ REM sleep behavior disorder (or RBD), including smoking, working onِ a farm, pastِ head injuries andِ pesticide exposure.
The condition hasِ beenِ linked withِ someِ forms ofِ dementia andِ Parkinson’s disease, withِ oneِ study ofِ 93 RBD patients showing thatِ moreِ than halfِ developed a neurodegenerative disease overِ a 12-year period.
Researchers surveyed 347 people inِ 10 countries withِ RBD aboutِ their lifestyles andِ other medical conditions, andِ compared theِ results toِ thoseِ ofِ healthy people.
In order toِ tease outِ exactlyِ what risk factors mightِ connect Parkinson’s toِ RBD, theِ researchers matched upِ theِ risk factors forِ RBD theyِ foundِ with factors knownِ to affect people’s risk ofِ developing Parkinson’s.
But whileِ theِ study mayِ shed someِ light onِ what mightِ lead toِ RBD, itِ alsoِ further clouds theِ mystery ofِ what causesِ Parkinson’s, theِ researchers said.
The link between neurological diseases and sleep
One concern Wirdefeldt saidِ aboutِ the research wasِ thatِ patients hadِ to rely onِ their memories forِ the surveys, andِ this mayِ mean thatِ the actual increased risk ofِ RBD linked withِ certainِ behaviors areِ likely toِ beِ lower.
As the first study on the topic, it is considered exploratory, she said.
Wirdefeldt added thatِ 10 years afterِ RBD diagnosis, mostِ patients haveِ still notِ developed a neurodegenerative disease.
But Postuma saidِ that it’sِ forِ that reason thatِ Parkinson’s researchers shouldِ take a deeper lookِ atِ sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders canِ beِ the firstِ sign ofِ Parkinson’s,10, 20 years beforeِ you getِ it, Postuma said.