I've already written about the link between Parkinson's disease and sleep disorders but today I want to share the results from yet another study that identified further links between the two conditions.
The latest study found that levels of dopamine in the substantia nigra part of the brain are reduced in patients with REM sleep behavior disorder.
A deficiency of dopamine in this part of the brain causes tremors, stiffness and movement slowness typically associated with Parkinson's.
The study lasted for three years. It found dopamine levels fell by 8% in the control group (this fall was associated with natural aging) and 20% in those with REM sleep disorder.
By the end of the study, three out of 20 of the REM sleep disorder patients developed Parkinson's disease and their dopamine reduction was around 30%.
Further proof of the importance of sleep and why sleep deprivation should not be ignored.
Source: The Lancet
Last updated: August 19, 2013