Comparison of REM sleep behaviour disorder variables between patients with progressive supranuclear palsy and those with Parkinsons disease

Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 05/25/2012

The existence of Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep without atonia (RWA) as well as sleep behaviour disorder (RBD)–related symptoms was less frequent in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) versus patients with PD. Differences in brain stem pathology and/or disease course between the two disorders might influence this difference.


  • The authors conducted clinical interviews of 20 patients with PSP, 93 patients with PD and their caregivers regarding RBD–related symptoms, and conducted PSG recordings on all the subject patients.
  • They then compared the clinical backgrounds, PSG parameters, and frequency of RBD–related symptoms between the two groups.


  • PSP patients had more severe symptoms of Parkinsonism and cognitive impairment, and took lower doses of dopaminergic agents compared with PD patients.
  • The PSP group had lower values for both estimated total sleep time and sleep efficiency on PSG compared with the PD group (p=0.002, p=0.021, respectively).
  • The PSP group also included a significantly smaller number of patients having REM sleep without atonia (RWA) compared with the PD group (n=5, 20.0% vs. n=56, 60.2%, p=0.003).
  • None of the PSP patients were experiencing RBD–related symptoms at the time of the investigation, while 30PD patients (32.3%) had RBD–related symptoms.

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