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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1992 Aug;180(8):516-23.

Dream structure in Parkinson's patients.

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  • 1Institute of Human Physiology, University of Modena, Italy.


Dream reports of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) were analyzed to ascertain whether cognitive deficits associated with this nonfocal brain pathology influence dream structure or dream recall. Fifteen outpatients with idiopathic PD were sampled (diagnosed from 1 to 10 years and currently in stage II or III of Hoehn and Yarh's scale); all were without psychiatric symptoms or major medical illnesses and were currently being treated with L-dopa. After an adaptation night in the sleep laboratory, each patient spent a night in which he/she was awakened at least twice in rapid eye movement sleep and asked to report dream experience. Thirteen patients were able to report at least one dream. Overall frequency of dream recall (71.4%) was fully compatible with normative data for the elderly. Multiple regression analyses showed that both the length of the dream report as story and the organization of contents into coherent episodes (analyzed using Mandler and Johnson's story grammar) varied significantly in relation to level of cognitive functioning and, in part, of language comprehension, but not in relation to age, illness duration, and dose of L-dopa.

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