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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2004 Sep;17(3):146-57.

REM sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.

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Sleep Disorders Center, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia manifested by vivid, often frightening dreams associated with simple or complex motor behavior during REM sleep. Patients appear to "act out their dreams," in which the exhibited behaviors mirror the content of the dreams. Management of RBD involves counseling about safety measures in the sleep environment; in those at risk for injury, clonazepam and/or melatonin is usually effective. In this article, the authors present a detailed review of the clinical and polysomnographic features, differential diagnosis, diagnostic criteria, management strategies, and pathophysiologic mechanisms of RBD. They then review the literature and their institutional experience of RBD associated with neurodegenerative disease, particularly Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The evolving data suggests that RBD may have clinical diagnostic and pathophysiologic significance in isolation and when associated with neurodegenerative disease.

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