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Sleep. 2011 May 1;34(5):619-25.

Longitudinal study of cognitive function in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder.

Author information

1
Sleep Disorders Center, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy. fantini.marialivia@hsr.it

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To assess the longitudinal course of cognitive functions in a cohort of patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD).

DESIGN:

Prospective study with baseline and 2-year follow-up.

SETTING:

Sleep disorders center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-four cognitively asymptomatic iRBD patients (18 M; mean age: 69.5 ± 7.3 y) and 12 sex-, age-, and education-matched healthy subjects.

INTERVENTIONS:

Participants underwent to a video-PSG, a focused neuropsychological evaluation and a neurological examination. Following the first evaluation, subjects were reassessed after a mean interval of 25.8 months.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

Executive functions, attention and language were normal at baseline and at 2 year follow-up examination. At baseline, iRBD patients showed poorer performance than controls in delayed verbal memory (story recall test: P = 0.001) and in visuo-constructional abilities (Copy of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure: P = 0.0005). At follow-up, they not only performed worse than controls in the same tests (story recall: P = 0.0001; Copy of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure: P = 0.0004), but they also showed an impairment in visuo-spatial learning (Corsi supraspan test; P < 0.0001). ANOVAs showed a significant worsening in visuo-spatial learning over time in RBD compared to controls (P = 0.0001). Furthermore, 3 patients fulfilled the UK Brain Bank criteria for Parkinson disease, but this was unrelated to cognitive deterioration.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although no patients developed dementia, the decline observed in some tests involving the memory and visuo-constructional domains in idiopathic RBD suggests the presence of an underlying evolving degenerative process.

KEYWORDS:

REM sleep behavior disorder; neurodegenerative diseases; neuropsychological functions

PMID:
21532955
PMCID:
PMC3079941
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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