Rare sleep disorder common among veterans with PTSD

ScienceDaily | 10/11/2019 | Staff
Claw987Claw987 (Posted by) Level 4
Researchers next want to probe whether the disorder, known as REM sleep behavior disorder, or RBD, might provide an early signal of the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

Normally during sleep that coincides with rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, muscles are effectively paralyzed. In cases of RBD, brain control of muscle paralysis is impaired, resulting in people acting out dreams during REM sleep, sometimes causing injuries to themselves or their partners. It is estimated to effect less than 1% of the general population.

Proportion - % - Veterans - Study - %

That proportion rose to 9% of the 394 veterans in this study, and further swelled to 21% among those with PTSD.

"This is important because, in the general population, RBD has been linked to Parkinson's disease, and RBD often precedes classic symptoms of Parkinson's by years," said senior author Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D., a staff physician at the VA and assistant professor of neurology, medicine and behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine. "We don't know whether veterans who have PTSD and higher rates of RBD will go on to develop Parkinson's, but it is an important question we need to answer."

Researchers - Stress - Brain - Role - Disorder

Researchers suspect chronic stress on the brain may play a role in causing the sleep disorder in veterans with PTSD, as many veterans have been exposed to concussion which potentially accelerates neurodegenerative processes.

Each study participant underwent an overnight sleep study at the VA Portland Health Care System between 2015 and 2017 to determine the presence of dream...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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