Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder: demographic, clinical and laboratory findings in 93 cases.
We describe demographic, clinical, laboratory and aetiological findings in 93 consecutive patients with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), which consists of excessive motor activity during dreaming in association with loss of skeletal muscle atonia of REM sleep. The patients were seen at the Mayo Sleep Disorders Center between January 1, 1991 and July 31, 1995. Eighty-one patients (87%) were male. The mean age of RBD onset was 60.9 years (range 36-84 years) and the mean age at presentation was 64.4 years (37-85 years). Thirty-two per cent of patients had injured themselves and 64% had assaulted their spouses. Subdural haematomas occurred in two patients. Dream content was altered and involved defence of the sleeper against attack in 87%. The frequency of nocturnal events decreased with time in seven untreated patients with neurodegenerative disease. MRI or CT head scans were performed in 56% of patients. Although four scans showed brainstem pathology, all of these patients had apparently unrelated neurodegenerative diseases known to be associated with RBD. Neurological disorders were present in 57% of patients; Parkinson's disease, dementia without parkinsonism and multiple system atrophy accounted for all but 14% of these. RBD developed before parkinsonism in 52% of the patients with Parkinson's disease. Five of the 14 patients with multiple system atrophy were female, and thus the strong male predominance in RBD is less evident in this condition. Psychiatric disorders, drug use or drug withdrawal were rarely causally related to RBD. Clonazepam treatment of RBD was completely or partially successful in 87% of the patients who used the drug. We conclude that RBD is a well-defined condition and that descriptions from different centres are fairly consistent. It is commonest in elderly males and may result in serious morbidity to patients and bed partners. There is a strong relationship to neurodegenerative disease, especially Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and dementia, and neurologists should explore the possibility of RBD in patients with these conditions. RBD symptoms may be the first manifestations of these disorders and careful follow-up is needed. Neuroimaging is unlikely to reveal underlying disorders not suspected clinically. We confirm the effectiveness of clonazepam, but note that attention to the safety of the bed environment may be sufficient for patients with contraindications to the drug. (+info)
Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, depression and cognitive impairment. Case study.
BACKGROUND: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder is a relatively new diagnostic category. It has never before been associated with a treatable depressive condition. AIMS: To report on a 74-year-old man with a history of depression and REM sleep behaviour disorder, associated with mild cognitive impairment. METHOD: Assessment using brain CT, MRI, PET, electroencephalography, neuropsychological testing and nocturnal polysomnography. RESULTS: Depression was treated with sertraline. Sleep laboratory studies supported a diagnosis of REM sleep behaviour disorder, which was treated with clonazepam. Sleep apnoea, revealed later, was treated with nasal continuous positive airways pressure. Brain MRI showed mild atrophy, but neuropsychological testing indicated no progressive cognitive deterioration. CONCLUSIONS: This case draws attention to REM sleep behaviour disorder and its potential interaction with depression and cognitive impairment, producing symptoms which can be mistaken for early dementia. The diagnosis of REM sleep behaviour disorder is easily missed, and it requires careful history-taking and sleep investigation in all suspected sufferers. Associated neurological, sleep and psychiatric conditions (including depression and cognitive impairment) may confound the diagnosis. (+info)
Interobserver reliability of ICSD-R criteria for REM sleep behaviour disorder.
We estimated the interobserver reliability (IR) of the diagnosis of rapid eye movement (REM) Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) among trained neurologists, with the application of International Classification of Sleep Disorders Revised (ICSD-R), by means of videotaped interviews of people with motor sleep behaviour disorders of different nature. IR of clinical judgement for the diagnosis of RBD was "substantial" (Kappa 0.65); nevertheless, some criteria ('limb or body movement associated with dream mentation', criterion B, and 'sleep behaviours (that) disrupt sleep continuity', criterion C3) showed a 'moderate' IR, resulting from the intrinsic limitations of the patient report and terminological ambiguity. Further clarification of terminology of the ICSD-R criteria would be useful to improve the reliability. (+info)
We describe a 74-year-old woman who presented with a history of falling from bed in association with vivid dreams and physical violence towards her spouse. A clinical diagnosis of rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder was made and complete resolution of her symptoms was achieved with first line treatment. (+info)
Combination of 'idiopathic' REM sleep behaviour disorder and olfactory dysfunction as possible indicator for alpha-synucleinopathy demonstrated by dopamine transporter FP-CIT-SPECT.
REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) and olfactory dysfunction are common and very early features of alpha-synucleinopathies, in particular Parkinson's disease. To investigate the hypothesis that these two clinical features in combination are an indicator of evolving alpha-synucleinopathy, olfactory function was assessed in RBD. We studied 30 patients (18 male, 12 female; mean age 48 +/- 14 years, range 19-78 years) with clinical (idiopathic, n = 6; symptomatic, n = 13, mostly associated with narcolepsy) or subclinical (n = 11, associated with narcolepsy) RBD according to standard criteria and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects using standardized 'Sniffin' Sticks'. RBD patients had a significantly higher olfactory threshold (P = 0.0001), lower discrimination score (P = 0.003), and lower identification score (P = 0.001). Compared with normative data, 97% of the RBD patients had a pathologically increased olfactory threshold, 63% an impaired odour discrimination score, and 63% a decreased identification score. On neurological examination, signs of parkinsonism were newly found in five patients with clinical RBD (not associated with narcolepsy), who usually had a long history of 'idiopathic' RBD. Four of the five patients fulfilled the UK Brain Bank criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. The underlying nigrostriatal degeneration of clinical Parkinson's disease was confirmed by I-123-FP-CIT SPECT in one patient and early nigrostriatal degeneration was identified by SPECT in a further two patients with 'idiopathic' clinical RBD out of 11 RBD patients who agreed to undergo SPECT studies. Our study shows that RBD patients have a profound impairment of olfactory function. Five patients with clinical RBD not associated with narcolepsy had clinical or imaging signs of nigrostriatal degeneration. This new clinical finding correlates with the neuropathological staging of Parkinson's disease (stages 1-3) as proposed by Braak. In stage 1, the anterior olfactory nucleus or the olfactory bulb is affected (along with the dorsal motor nucleus of the glossopharyngeal and vagal nerves). In stage 2, additional lesions consistently remain confined to the medulla oblongata and pontine tegmentum, which are critical areas for RBD. Midbrain lesions are found only in stage 3, in particular degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Thus, 'idiopathic' RBD patients with olfactory impairment might present with stage 2 preclinical alpha-synucleinopathy. Since narcoleptic patients are not known to have an increased risk of developing parkinsonism, the pathophysiology and clinical relevance of hyposmia in RBD/narcolepsy patients requires further research. (+info)
Impaired rapid eye movement sleep in the Tg2576 APP murine model of Alzheimer's disease with injury to pedunculopontine cholinergic neurons.
Impaired rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is commonly observed in Alzheimer's disease, suggesting injury to mesopontine cholinergic neurons. We sought to determine whether abnormal beta-amyloid peptides impair REMS and injure mesopontine cholinergic neurons in transgenic (hAPP695.SWE) mice (Tg2576) that model brain amyloid pathologies. Tg2576 mice and wild-type littermates were studied at 2, 6, and 12 months by using sleep recordings, contextual fear conditioning, and immunohistochemistry. At 2 months of age, REMS was indistinguishable by genotype but was reduced in Tg2576 mice at 6 and 12 months. Choline acetyltransferase-positive neurons in the pedunculopontine tegmentum of Tg2576 mice at 2 months evidenced activated caspase-3 immunoreactivity, and at 6 and 12 months the numbers of pedunculopontine tegmentum choline acetyltransferase-positive neurons were reduced in the Tg2576 mice. Other cholinergic groups involved in REMS were unperturbed. At 12 months, Tg2576 mice demonstrated increased 3-nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity in cholinergic projection sites but not in cholinergic soma. We have identified a population of selectively compromised cholinergic neurons in young Tg2576 mice that manifest early onset REMS impairment. The differential vulnerability of these cholinergic neurons to Abeta injury provides an invaluable tool with which to understand mechanisms of sleep/wake perturbations in Alzheimer's disease. (+info)
Visual hallucinations in posterior cortical atrophy.
BACKGROUND: Visual hallucinations have been reported to occur in up to 25% of patients who meet the criteria for posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). It is not known, however, whether patients who meet the criteria for PCA and have hallucinations are different from those who meet the criteria and do not have hallucinations. OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical and imaging features of patients with PCA with and without well-formed visual hallucinations. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: Tertiary care medical center. PATIENTS: Fifty-nine patients fulfilling the criteria for PCA were retrospectively identified and divided into 2 groups based on the presence (n = 13) or absence (n = 46) of visual hallucinations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Statistically significant clinical differences and imaging differences using voxel-based morphometry between the 2 groups. RESULTS: In patients with PCA and hallucinations, parkinsonism and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder occurred more frequently, as did myoclonic jerks (P<.001 for both). Voxel-based morphometry showed greater atrophy in a network of structures, including the primary visual cortex, lentiform nuclei, thalamus, basal forebrain, and midbrain, in patients with hallucinations. CONCLUSIONS: Hallucinations in patients with PCA are associated with parkinsonism, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and myoclonic jerks. The voxel-based morphometry results suggest that hallucinations in PCA cannot be exclusively attributed to atrophy of the posterior association cortices and may involve a circuit of thalamocortical connections. (+info)
Olfactory dysfunction in patients with narcolepsy with and without REM sleep behaviour disorder.
Patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) frequently develop Parkinson's disease and the majority present with hyposmia, which is a potential preclinical non-motor sign of Parkinson's disease. Accordingly, it has been proposed that the clinical symptoms of hyposmia and RBD in combination have to be considered as very early symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Since not only patients with idiopathic RBD but also patients in whom RBD is associated with narcolepsy present with an olfactory dysfunction we investigated if hyposmia in RBD patients with concomitant narcolepsy is RBD specific or if narcolepsy per se is associated with olfactory dysfunction. We studied olfactory function in 20 narcoleptic patients each with RBD (9 male and 11 female; mean age 45.4 +/- 14.0 years, range 20-75 years) and without associated RBD (8 male and 12 female; mean age 44.4 +/- 13.40 years, range 20-70 years) and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects using standardized 'Sniffin' Sticks'. Both, narcoleptics with (Narc/+RBD) and without RBD (Narc/-RBD) had a significantly higher olfactory threshold (Narc/+RBD, P = 0.0001; Narc/-RBD, P = 0.0001), lower discrimination scores (P = 0.001; P = 0.014) and lower identification scores (P = 0.057; P = 0.003) than controls. There were no symptoms or signs for early parkinsonism in both patient groups. Our results show for the first time that narcolepsy per se is associated with olfactory dysfunction. In contrast to patients with idiopathic RBD, hyposmia in patients with RBD associated with narcolepsy is unlikely to be a predictor for developing parkinsonism. (+info)