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REM sleep behavior disorder is a risk factor for Parkinson's disease
Date:7/29/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

Patients suffering REM sleep behaviour disorders dream nightmares in which they are attacked and pursued, with the particularity that they express them by screaming, crying, punching and kicking while sleeping. Lancet Neurology has published the third consecutive work in five years about the relationship between this disorder and Parkinson's disease. The first work showed in 2006 that 45% of patients who suffer this sleep disorder develop Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. The second article discovered that neuroimaging tests that measure dopamine in the brain, such as the brain SPECT, are useful to identify patients with REM sleep disorders with increased risk of developing a neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

The new study applied brain SPECT to conclude that the levels of dopamine in the brain are quickly lowering over the years in patients with REM sleep behaviour disorder. This neuroimaging technique becomes the first tool to detect the disease progression at an early stage. The first author of the three articles is Dr. lex Iranzo, doctor from the Neurology Service at the Hospital Clnic of Barcelona, researcher at the Biomedical Research Institute of August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) and member of the Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Unit , and the senior authors were to Dr. Joan Santamaria and Dr. Eduard Tolosa, from the same institution.

The study involved comparing for three years the evolution of brain SPECT in 20 patients with REM disorder and 20 healthy controls. The neuroimaging technique measures the prese
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Contact: Alex Argemi
aargemi@gmail.com
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
Source:Eurekalert  

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