Publication Associates RBD with Worse Motor Symptoms in PD

New research from Johns Hopkins University using PPMI baseline data from Parkinson’s patients has found that those experiencing REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) symptoms have more severe motor symptoms than patients without RBD.  The findings were published in the journal Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements.  This publication provides further evidence of the connection between RBD and PD, which PPMI hopes to illuminate.

REM Sleep Behavior and Motor Findings in Parkinson’s Disease: A Cross-sectional Analysis

Mahajan A, Rosenthal LS, Gamaldo C, Salas RE, Pontone GM, McCoy A, Umeh C, Mari Z.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) represents a major public health challenge that will only grow in our aging population. Understanding the connection between PD and associated prodromal conditions, such as rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder (RBD), is critical to identifying prevention strategies. However, the relationship between RBD and severity of motor findings in early PD is unknown. This study aims to examine this relationship.


The study population consisted of 418?PD patients who completed the Movement Disorders Society-United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM) disorder questionnaires at the baseline visit of the Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). Cross-sectional analysis was carried out to assess the association between REM Sleep Behavior Screening Questionnaire score and MDS UPDRS-3 (motor) score categories. Correlation with a higher score category was described as “worse motor findings”. A score of 5 on the REM disorder questionnaire was defined as predictive of RBD.


Out of the 418?PD patients, 113 (27.0%) had RBD. With univariate logistic regression analysis, individuals with scores predictive of RBD were 1.66 times more likely to have worse motor findings (p?=?0.028). Even with age, gender, and Geriatric Depression Scale scores taken into account, individuals with scores predictive of RBD were 1.69 times more likely to have worse motor findings (p?=?0.025).


PD patients with RBD symptoms had worse motor findings than those unlikely to have RBD. This association provides further evidence for the relationship between RBD and PD.

Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y). 2014 Jun 23;4:245. doi: 10.7916/D84B2ZDF. eCollection 2014.