Some people act out their dreams while asleep. They may punch, kick, yell or even fall out of bed. This sleep problem is a risk factor for some brain diseases. A landmark Parkinson's study is examining this connection. Now it needs you.
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What Is REM Sleep Behavior Disorder?
With REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), people act out dreams while asleep. They may punch, kick or yell. Some may get up out of bed or fall on the floor.
What Is the RBD and Parkinson's Connection?
RBD is a risk factor for Parkinson's and other brain diseases. People diagnosed with Parkinson's can have RBD as a symptom.
In normal sleep the brain "paralyzes" the body so it remains still. In Parkinson's disease, brain changes impact movement. Those same changes may turn off that paralysis so the body moves while asleep.
What Study Is Looking at RBD and Parkinson's?
The Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study is recruiting people with RBD. PPMI is a landmark study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. It aims to better understand and measure Parkinson's disease, including before movement symptoms begin. This information could lead to new treatments.
Through PPMI, scientists also could learn more about the biology and experience of RBD.