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Sleep disturbances, common in Parkinson's disease, can be early indicator of disease onset
Date:7/10/2014

Amsterdam, NL, 10 July 2014 Up to 70% of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients experience sleep problems that negatively impact their quality of life. Some patients have disturbed sleep/wake patterns such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, while other patients may be subject to sudden and involuntary daytime sleep "attacks." In the extreme, PD patients may exhibit REM-sleep behavior disorder (RBD), characterized by vivid, violent dreams or dream re-enactment, even before motor symptoms appear. A review in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease discusses the underlying causes of sleep problems in PD, as well as medications, disease pathology, and comorbidities, and describes the most appropriate diagnostic tools and treatment options.

Sleep problems in PD patients can have wide-ranging adverse effects and can worsen in later stages of the disease. Sleepiness socially isolates patients and excessive sleepiness can put patients at risk of falls or injury, and can mean patients must give up driving. Sleepiness can impair cognition and concentration, exacerbate depression, and interfere with employment. Wakefulness at night impairs daytime wakefulness and may also cause mood instabilities and can exhaust caregivers.

"Diagnosis and effective treatment and management of these problems are essential for improving the quality of life and reducing institutionalization of these patients," says lead author Wiebke Schrempf, MD, Technische Universitt Dresden, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Department of Neurology, Division of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany.

Dr. Schrempf and colleagues describe some of the complexities associated with treating sleep problems in PD patients, such as the worsening of sleep problems by dopaminergic medications used to treat motor symptoms. Lower doses of levodopa or dopamine agonists are able to improve sleep quality partly by reducing motor symptoms such as nighttime hypokinesia (de
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Contact: Daphne Watrin
d.watrin@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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