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Rev Neurosci. 2013;24(3):279-91. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2013-0002.

Sleep disorders in Parkinson's disease: a narrative review of the literature.

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Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forli, Italy.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is classically considered to be a motor system affliction; however, also non-motor alterations, including sleep disorders, are important features of the disease. The aim of this review is to provide data on sleep disturbances in PD in the following grouping: difficulty initiating sleep, frequent night-time awakening and sleep fragmentation, nocturia, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movements, sleep breathing disorders, drug induced symptoms, parasomnias associated with rapid eye movements (REM) sleep, sleep attacks, reduced sleep efficiency and excessive daytime sleepiness. Research has characterized some of these disturbances as typical examples of dissociated states of wakefulness and sleep that are admixtures or incomplete declarations of wakefulness, REM sleep, and non-REM (NREM) sleep. Moreover, sleep disorders may precede the typical motor system impairment of PD and their ability to predict disease has important implications for development of neuroprotective treatment; in particular, REM sleep behavior disorder may herald any other clinical manifestation of PD by more than 10 years.

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