Review of rapid eye movement behavior sleep disorders. Current neurology and neuroscience reports Abad, V. C., Guilleminault, C. 2004; 4 (2): 157-163


The spectrum of rapid eye movement behavior disorders (RBD) spans various age groups, with the greatest prevalence in elderly men. Major diagnostic features include harmful or potentially harmful sleep behaviors that disrupt sleep continuity and dream enactment during rapid eye movement sleep. In RBD patients, the polysomnogram during rapid eye movement sleep demonstrates excessive augmentation of chin electromyogram or excessive chin or limb phasic electromyogram twitching. RBD may be associated with various neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple system atrophy, Parkinson's disease, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Other co-morbid conditions may include narcolepsy, agrypnia excitata, sleepwalking, and sleep terrors. RBD is hypothesized to be caused by primary dysfunction of the pedunculo-pontine nucleus or other key brainstem structures associated with basal ganglia pathology or, alternatively, from abnormal afferent signals in the basal ganglia leading to dysfunction in the midbrain extrapyramidal area/ pedunculo-pontine nucleus regions.

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