Cause of Parkinson's-related sleep disorder revealed

Cause of Parkinson's-related sleep disorder revealed

The potential cause of a severe sleep disorder which is linked to Parkinson's disease has been identified by researchers at the University of Toronto.

People with rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) often move violently during dreaming sleep as they do not experience the muscle paralysis which occurs in others.

This means they often cause injury to themselves or their partners.

According to the research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, reduced brain inhibition could cause RBD, suggesting those with the condition may have impaired brain inhibition.

Testing on mice showed that RBD symptoms could be alleviated by clonazepam, which is used to treat the illness in humans.

Sixty to 80 per cent of people with RBD go on to develop Parkinson's disease.

Lead author Dr John Peever explained: "Treating RBD could have direct implications for understanding and perhaps treating Parkinson’s disease."

This follows research from Northwestern Memorial Hospital which revealed that taking part in music and drama activities could benefit people with Parkinson's disease.

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