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Aust Fam Physician. 2013 Nov;42(11):785-8.

REM sleep behaviour disorder - More than just a parasomnia.

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MD, CCRE, Clinical Research Fellow, Sleep and Circadian Research Group, NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Interdisciplinary Sleep Medicine, The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW; Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.



Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterised by loss of the usual muscle atonia that occurs during REM sleep, allowing patients to act out their dreams.


This article aims to draw attention to RBD, allowing early recognition and treatment.


As RBD patients are at high risk of hurting themselves and their bed partners while acting out their dreams, improving safety within the bedroom environment and treatment with exogenous melatonin or clonazepam are recommended. Longitudinal studies have shown that the onset of idiopathic RBD may be an early warning sign of specific neurodegenerative diseases.

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