Skip to main content

Parkinson’s Disease and Acting Out Your Dreams (Ask the MD Video)

Editor's Note: In case you missed it, ABC’s Good Morning America explored why scientists are studying the connection between people who act out their dreams and PD. See the segment featuring MJFF’s Dr. Rachel Dolhun and Patient Council member Gary Rafaloff here. 

We all dream when we sleep. Some don’t remember dreams. Others clearly recall what they did, how they felt, and who else was there. Still others unintentionally act out their dreams. They yell, kick or punch as they imagine catching a touchdown pass, running from a wild animal, or fending off an enemy.

Acting out dreams is called REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). This sleep condition can be part of Parkinson’s disease (PD). For some, it’s the earliest sign of disease, happening years or decades before diagnosis. For others, it happens years into life with PD.

Not everyone with RBD gets Parkinson’s. And not everyone with Parkinson’s has RBD. But scientists in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) are studying this connection to develop better treatments and, ultimately, prevent Parkinson’s. Get started today.

Watch the video to learn more and to hear one couple’s experience living with RBD.   

For more on this topic, listen to a podcast and download a free guide.

Ask the MD has been made possible through the leadership of members of our Parkinson's Disease Education Consortium in conjunction with The Albert B. Glickman Parkinson's Disease Education Program. These partners' support allows us to furnish high-quality educational content to the Parkinson's community while maintaining our commitment to allocate donor dollars to high-impact research. Editorial control of all Michael J. Fox Foundation-published content rests solely with the Foundation.

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.