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Open Access Research article

Probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, nocturnal disturbances and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a case-controlled study using the rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder screening questionnaire

Keisuke Suzuki1, Tomoyuki Miyamoto2*, Masayuki Miyamoto1, Yuka Watanabe1, Shiho Suzuki1, Muneto Tatsumoto1, Masaoki Iwanami2, Tsubasa Sada1, Taro Kadowaki1, Ayaka Numao1, Kenichi Hashimoto1, Hideki Sakuta1 and Koichi Hirata1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, Dokkyo Medical University, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Tochigi, 321-0293, Japan

2 Department of Neurology, Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, 2-1-50 Minami-Koshigaya, Koshigaya, Saitama, 343-8555, Japan

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BMC Neurology 2013, 13:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-18

Published: 9 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Increasing evidence provides a clear association between rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorders (RBD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the clinical features that determine the co-morbidity of RBD and PD are not yet fully understood.

Methods

We evaluated the characteristics of nocturnal disturbances and other motor and non-motor features related to RBD in patients with PD and the impact of RBD on their quality of life. Probable RBD (pRBD) was evaluated using the Japanese version of the RBD screening questionnaire (RBDSQ-J).

Results

A significantly higher frequency of pRBD was observed in PD patients than in the controls (RBDSQ-J ≥ 5 or ≥ 6: 29.0% vs. 8.6%; 17.2% vs. 2.2%, respectively). After excluding restless legs syndrome and snorers in the PD patients, the pRBD group (RBDSQ-J≥5) showed higher scores compared with the non-pRBD group on the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale-2 (PDSS-2) total and three-domain scores. Early morning dystonia was more frequent in the pRBD group. The Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) domain scores for cognition and emotional well-being were higher in the patients with pRBD than in the patients without pRBD. There were no differences between these two groups with respect to the clinical subtype, disease severity or motor function. When using a cut-off of RBDSQ-J = 6, a similar trend was observed for the PDSS-2 and PDQ-39 scores. Patients with PD and pRBD had frequent sleep onset insomnia, distressing dreams and hallucinations. The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the PDSS-2 domain “motor symptoms at night”, particularly the PDSS sub-item 6 “distressing dreams”, was the only predictor of RBDSQ-J in PD.

Conclusion

Our results indicate a significant impact of RBD co-morbidity on night-time disturbances and quality of life in PD, particularly on cognition and emotional well-being. RBDSQ may be a useful tool for not only screening RBD in PD patients but also predicting diffuse and complex clinical PD phenotypes associated with RBD, cognitive impairment and hallucinations.

Keywords:
Parkinson’s disease; Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder; Cognition; Quality of life; Nocturnal problems