Studying a specific sleep disorder to better understand Parkinson’s disease

During the second phase of the NCER-PD research programme, scientists are focusing on risk factors associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease. For that purpose, they are inviting a new group of participants composed of people affected by a particular sleep disorder to participate in a research study.

 “Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder”, or RBD, involves abnormal behaviours during one of the phases of the sleep cycle. While asleep, affected people act out their dreams, speaking, shouting and moving, sometimes so violently that even their bed partners are impacted.

A significant percentage of people with RBD (but not all of them) develop a neurodegenerative disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease, later in life. This is why researchers hope that closely monitoring a group of participants affected by that sleep disorder will allow them to gather additional knowledge about the early signs of the disease and its evolution. They aim to better understand the risk factors that play a role in the transition from RBD to the onset of Parkinson’s.

Why participate in this study?

The regular follow-up visits that are part of the study will be beneficial for participants with RBD. They will help to monitor their symptoms and could lead to better treatments and improved sleep quality. Beyond these advantages, this novel study focusing on a new group of volunteers will result in novel information about the prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease. It will contribute to the development of new diagnostic tools and pave the way for future neuroprotective treatments.