JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attenuated heart rate response in REM sleep behavior disorder and Parkinson's disease

Gertrud Laura Sorensen, Jacob Kempfner, Marielle Zoetmulder, Helge B D Sorensen, Poul Jennum
Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society 2012, 27 (7): 888-94
22555939
The objective of this study was to determine whether patients with Parkinson's disease with and without rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder and patients with idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder have an attenuated heart rate response to arousals or to leg movements during sleep compared with healthy controls. Fourteen and 16 Parkinson's patients with and without rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder, respectively, 11 idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder patients, and 17 control subjects underwent 1 night of polysomnography. The heart rate response associated with arousal or leg movement from all sleep stages was analyzed from 10 heartbeats before the onset of the sleep event to 15 heartbeats following onset of the sleep event. The heart rate reponse to arousals was significantly lower in both parkinsonian groups compared with the control group and the idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder group. The heart rate response to leg movement was significantly lower in both Parkinson's groups and in the idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder group compared with the control group. The heart rate response for the idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder group was intermediate with respect to the control and the parkinsonian groups. The attenuated heart rate response may be a manifestation of the autonomic deficits experienced in Parkinson's disease. The idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder patients not only exhibited impaired motor symptoms but also incipient autonomic dysfunction, as revealed by the attenuated heart rate response.

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