REM sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

Bradley F. Boeve, Michael H. Silber, Tanis J. Ferman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia manifested by vivid, often frightening dreams associated with simple or complex motor behavior during REM sleep. Patients appear to "act out their dreams," in which the exhibited behaviors mirror the content of the dreams. Management of RBD involves counseling about safety measures in the sleep environment; in those at risk for injury, clonazepam and/or melatonin is usually effective. In this article, the authors present a detailed review of the clinical and polysomnographic features, differential diagnosis, diagnostic criteria, management strategies, and pathophysiologic mechanisms of RBD. They then review the literature and their institutional experience of RBD associated with neurodegenerative disease, particularly Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The evolving data suggests that RBD may have clinical diagnostic and pathophysiologic significance in isolation and when associated with neurodegenerative disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-157
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Parkinson's disease
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Synuclein
  • Synucleinopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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