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Podcast: Treating Parkinson's 'Off' Episodes

What You Need to Know about Sleep, Aging and Parkinson's

Tossing and turning in your sleep, flailing your arms or acting out your dreams?  These issues can develop as we age, with and without Parkinson’s disease (PD), and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) may also be an early indicator of PD. Listen to our panel of experts and people with Parkinson’s discuss why sleep is important, give advice on medication and offer non-medication strategies for sleep problems, including the importance of participating in research studies like MJFF’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). We invited a patient with their care partner to join the conversation about what it means to support and care for someone experiencing these challenges. 

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Expert Panelists:  

Host and person with Parkinson's Larry Gifford leads a discussion with: 

  • Allen Dance, diagnosed with RBD in 2022, PPMI participant  
  • Richie Rothenberg, Patient Council Emeritus Member, diagnosed with early-onset PD in 2004
  • Julie Merson, Richie’s spouse and care partner 
  • Stephen Joza, MD, PhD, neurologist, 2023 Fellow, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre 

View a transcript of this podcast.    

The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, or PPMI, is learning more about the connection between RBD and brain disease to understand who gets Parkinson’s, who doesn’t, and why. And those insights could lead to better treatments and cures. 

If you have RBD and don't have Parkinson's, call 866-525-PPMI or email to get started and speak with the study team. For more information on RBD, visit

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