One of the topics discussed at the XXI Annual Meeting of the Spanish Sleep Society (SES) held recently in Burgos has been the association between an alteration that occurs in the REM sleep phase, known as Behavior disorder in REM sleep (TCSR), and certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or dementia due to Lewy bodies.
People suffering from TCSR present an anomalous behavior when they enter the REM phase -in which dreams appear with a plot thread-, and which is characterized by the lack of muscle tone, necessary to prevent the sleeper from getting up or making movements, and he can hurt himself. The TCSR causes a dysfunction during this stage of sleep that makes the patient continue to have motor activity despite being asleep, and move, throw punches and kicks, scream and even get to fall out of bed.
Five years after being diagnosed with TCSR, 45% of patients developed Parkinson's disease or dementia due to Lewy bodies.
During the meeting of the SES, the neurologist Álex Iranzo, a member of this Society, presented the data collected in a study that has been carried out recently with patients suffering from TCSR. After a five-year follow-up, the researchers observed that 45 percent of these patients - who did not have any other disease related to the disorder - developed either Parkinson's disease, or Lewy body dementia, and at age ten, the proportion of patients with TCSR affected by a neurodegenerative disease was 80 percent.
The TCSR is diagnosed by a polysomnographic study, which consists of recording the brain and muscle activity and breathing of the patient while asleep, and can be differentiated from other sleep disorders because there is an increase in muscle activity that coincides with the REM phase, accompanied by the symptoms described above ( kicks, punches, screams ...).
The participants in the meeting of the SES work with the hypothesis that the TCSR - a rare condition with a higher incidence in the male population between the ages of 40 and 70 - is an early sign that predicts the appearance of pathologies neurodegenerative and, therefore, serve to identify people who are at increased risk of suffering them. As Dr. Iranzo explains, research is currently underway to develop new therapies that act as neuroprotectors, and to delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease, so an early diagnosis would accelerate patients' access to treatment and help improve prognosis. .
Source: Spanish Dream Society