Symptomatic therapies for REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) are limited. Sodium oxybate (SXB), a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-B agonist, could be effective but has not been evaluated against placebo.This double-blind, parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 24 participants was conducted at the Stanford Sleep Center. Patients were adults with definite iRBD or Parkinson's disease and probable RBD (PD-RBD), and persistence of = 2 weekly episodes despite standard therapy. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive SXB during a 4-week titration followed by a 4-week stable dosing period. Primary outcome was number of monthly RBD episodes according to a diary filled by patients and partners. Secondary outcomes were severity, number of severe RBD episodes, and objective RBD activity on video-polysomnography.12 iRBD and 12 PD-RBD participated (mean 65.8 years), and 22 (n = 10 SXB, 12 placebo) completed the study. Although no significant between-group difference was found, SXB showed reduction of monthly RBD episodes by 23.1 (95% CI -36.0, -10.2; P=0.001) versus 10.5 with placebo (95% CI, -22.6, 1.6; P=0.087). Improvement from baseline was similarly observed for RBD overall severity burden (each episode weighted for severity), number of severe episodes, and objective RBD activity per video-polysomnography. Two participants receiving SXB withdrew due to anxiety and dizziness. The majority of adverse events otherwise resolved with dose adjustment.SXB could reduce RBD symptoms; however, response was inconsistent and a large placebo effect was observed across patient-reported outcomes. Larger studies using objective endpoints are needed.
View details for DOI 10.1093/sleep/zsad103
View details for PubMedID 37052688