People with a sleep disorder that causes them to act out dreams have a high chance of developing a brain disease, including Parkinson's disease, according to a recent study. Past research has suggested that people with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder are more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease, and the new report connects the sleep disorder with other neurodegenerative diseases as well.
Research [from John Peever, MD] published this week in Trends in Neurosciences, suggests the link occurs because brain degeneration attacks the brain circuits controlling REM sleep before it attacks those areas involved in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative conditions.
The clinical study Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) is seeking people with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) who do not have Parkinson's disease to further investigate this link. If you're interested in participating but aren't sure if you have RBD, the symptoms are distinctive: people with the disoder act out dreams, which often involves kicking, screaming or jumping out of bed. Unlike sleep walkers, who are groggy and confused when woken up during an episode, those with RBD wake up immediately, conscious of what they were doing.
If you don't have RBD but are interested in participating in other Parkinson's disease research studies, sign up with Fox Trial Finder today.