24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Sleep Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Sleep Apnea Patients Struggle as Common CPAP Machine Is RecalledRecall of Philips Breathing Machines Affects Millions of Americans'Date Rape' Drug Gets FDA Approval to Treat Rare Sleep DisorderSleep Apnea Doubles Odds for Sudden DeathAHA News: Severe Sleep Apnea Could Damage Key Blood VesselsWant to Avoid Sleep Apnea? Get Off the SofaSleepless Nights Can Quickly Mess Up Your EmotionsSleep Apnea in Childhood a Bad Sign for Teenage Heart HealthMore Than a Snore? Recognize the Signs of Sleep ApneaWhy Music at Bedtime Might Not Be a Great IdeaPoor Sleep After Head Injury Could Point to Dementia RiskNew Links Between Poor Sleep, Diabetes and DeathAHA News: Kids With Sleep Apnea Into Teen Years Could Develop High Blood PressureSleep Apnea Raises Odds for Severe COVID-19Do Prescription Sleep Medicines Even Work?Sleep Disorders Cost U.S. Health Care System Nearly $95 Billion Per YearLullaby Effect: Music Can Speed Your Way to Sleep, Study Finds'Disrupted' Sleep Could Be Seriously Affecting Your HealthSleepwalking Tied to Higher Odds for Parkinson's in MenSleep Issues Are Soaring in U.S. Military: StudyGrumpy? Depressed? Try a More Regular Sleep ScheduleCPAP Mask for Sleep Apnea May Boost Daytime Activity LevelsFDA Approves 'Tongue Strengthening' Device for Certain Sleep Apnea PatientsAHA News: Sleep Disorders Plague Stroke Survivors – and Put Them at RiskHow to Sleep Better in 2021Once Begun, Insomnia Is Tough to Shake: StudyDoes Taking Screens Away Help Sleep-Deprived Teens?Associated Professional Sleep Societies, June 5-9, 2010
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Mental Disorders

Sleepwalking Tied to Higher Odds for Parkinson's in Men

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 20th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, April 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Men with certain sleep problems, like sleep walking, may be at a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests.

Among nearly 26,000 men, researchers found those who sleepwalked or had rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) had a four times or higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to those who didn't.

"Presence of parasomnia, such as sleepwalking and RBD, may be a marker of neurodegeneration," said senior author Dr. Xiang Gao. He is professor and director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Lab at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park.

Those who suffer from RBD act out vivid, often unpleasant dreams with sounds and sudden arm and leg movements.

Gao cautioned that this study can't prove these sleep problems cause Parkinson's disease, only that there might be a connection for some people.

Another expert wants to reassure men who have one of these sleep problems that they're not doomed to develop the movement disorder.

"It's important to recognize that when you zoom out and look at the totality of the data, there's a lot of people who are sleepwalking and a lot of people who have REM behavior sleep disorder who don't have Parkinson's disease," said James Beck, the chief scientific officer at the Parkinson's Foundation.

"So, though there's certainly an increased risk, it's not definitive that you'll develop Parkinson's," Beck added.

According to Gao, this is the first large study on this topic.

"We need further studies to understand this. Particularly to see whether sleepwalking occurs before Parkinson's onset and the number of individuals with sleepwalking who eventually develop Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases later," Gao said. "Also, we don't know whether Parkinson's disease patients are more likely to have these sleep conditions."

For the study, Gao and colleagues collected data on nearly 26,000 men, average age 76, who took part in the U.S.-based Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Among these men, less than 1% were sleepwalkers, nearly 11% experienced RBD and 1% had Parkinson's disease.

After adjusting for age, smoking, caffeine intake, chronic disease and other sleep disorders, the researchers found that sleepwalking was tied to a quadrupled risk of developing Parkinson's disease. RBD was associated with a sixfold increase in risk, and having both disorders was tied to an eight times higher risk.

Gao added that the researchers don't know if women have a similar risk, but that might be the focus of another study.

Beck thinks the brain's inability to disconnect from physical activity, as usually occurs during sleep, results in these sleep disorders and may help explain the connections with Parkinson's disease.

"This could be part and parcel to what we're seeing with Parkinson's disease in general, which is that a lot of people with Parkinson's have trouble sleeping," he said. "To some extent, this may be happening at a small level for many people with Parkinson's — they just don't sleep well — and then for a subset, you see profound changes which are occurring that can lead to these [sleep] problems."

The report was published online April 13 in JAMA Network Open.

More information

For more on Parkinson's disease, head to the Parkinson's Foundation.

SOURCES: Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, professor and director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab, Pennsylvania State University, University Park; James Beck, PhD, chief scientific officer, Parkinson's Foundation; JAMA Network Open, April 13, 2021, online