Health Discoveries in Movement Disorders, Parkinsons etc

Parkinson's may be linked to sleep disorder

September 17, 2010
Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders may be related to a sleep disorder in which individuals aggresssively act out their dreams during the rapid eye movement cycle of sleep.

The findings, published in a recent issue of the journal Neurology, indicate that neurological disorders may start earlier than previously thought. However, researchers cannot yet identify which patients with the REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) are most likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, which would allow them to address the diseases in their early stage.

"If you can intervene when the disease is still at the brain stem and not affecting some other critical structure in the brain, hopefully at the very least we can slow it down," said Dr. Bradley F. Boeve, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The research team focused on 27 patients who had been treated at the Mayo Clinic for RBD and found that 15 or more years later 13 patients had developed Parkinson's, 13 had dementia and one had multiple system atrophy.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, a creatine vs. placebo clinical trial is trying to determine whether the drug creatine slows the progression of Parkinson's disease.
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