REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a novel type of Parasomnias characterized by abnormal behavioral manifestations during REM sleep. RBD affects 0.4-0.5% of the elderly population with a typical age of onset in 50s-60s. RBD presents with a spectrum of dreamenacting behavioral manifestations, including sleep shouting, fisting, kicking or falling out of bed with a high prevalence of sleep-related injuries to themselves or/and bed-partners.
Early neurodegeneration in RBD could be demonstrated by brain imaging technologies. Studies suggested that iRBD was associated with dopaminergic neurotransmission abnormalities, with a progressive decline of the striatal presynaptic dopaminergic transporter from subclinical RBD, iRBD to RBD with PD. Up to date, only two studies reported the longitudinal course of dopamine abnormalities in iRBD.
Although brain imaging techniques show a high sensitivity in detecting neurodegeneration, they are expensive with limited accessibility for routine screening of early neurodegeneration among RBD patients. Thus, the search of reliable and easily applicable clinical markers is important. Eisensehr et al. correlated the increase in muscle activity during REM sleep to reduction of striatal dopamine transporters. Another study found that there were correlations between cerebral blood flow and color vision and olfactory abnormalities . These studies have provided preliminary results of the possible correlations between clinical markers and neuroimaging findings.
Last date updated on June, 2014