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Brain. 2009 Dec;132(Pt 12):3298-307. doi: 10.1093/brain/awp244.

Markers of neurodegeneration in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, McGill University, Montreal General Hospital, Montréal, Quebéc, Canada.

Abstract

Idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder is an important risk factor in the development of Parkinson's disease. Numerous potential predictive markers of Parkinson's disease may present before motor symptoms emerge, but testing of these markers in rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder has been performed only in small studies. There has been no comparison of markers between patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and Parkinson's disease, and between men and women. We evaluated an array of potential Parkinson's disease predictive markers in 159 patients; including 68 with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, 36 controls, 34 Parkinson's patients with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and 21 Parkinson's patients without rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. Compared with controls, patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder demonstrated substantial olfactory loss (P < 0.001). Olfaction was more impaired in Parkinson's disease than idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder and did not differ between Parkinson's patients with, or without, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. Numerous measures of motor function including the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale alternate tap, Purdue Peg Board and Timed 'Up and Go' were impaired in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder compared with controls (P < 0.01). All of these motor measures were worse with Parkinson's disease than with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, regardless of rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder status. Autonomic symptoms and systolic blood pressure drop were impaired in patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder compared with controls (P = 0.003). Orthostatic abnormalities in Parkinson's disease were found in the group with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (P < 0.001). However, Parkinson's patients without rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder were not different than controls and had less impairment than those with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (P = 0.004) and Parkinson's patients with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (P < 0.001). Colour vision was impaired in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder compared with controls (P < 0.001). However, only Parkinson's patients with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder had abnormalities significantly different than controls (P < 0.001), and there were significant differences between Parkinson's patients with or without rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (P < 0.04). Idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder patients had slightly increased harm avoidance scores on personality testing (P = 0.04). Other than slightly better performances among women in the Purdue Peg Board, there was no difference in any measure between men and women, suggesting similar pathogenic processes underlying rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. Patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder demonstrate abnormalities in numerous potential markers of neurodegenerative disease--these markers are heterogeneous, generally correlate with each other and occur equally in men and women. Although these abnormalities are usually intermediate between control values and Parkinson's patients, autonomic dysfunction and colour vision appear to be more linked to rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder status than Parkinson's disease, suggesting a unique pathophysiology of these abnormalities.

PMID:
19843648
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awp244
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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