Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Associations of sleep disorders with serum neurofilament light chain levels in Parkinson's disease.

BMC Neurology 2024 May 2
BACKGROUND: Sleep disorders are a prevalent non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD), although reliable biological markers are presently lacking.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the associations between sleep disorders and serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in individuals with prodromal and early PD.

METHODS: The study contained 1113 participants, including 585 early PD individuals, 353 prodromal PD individuals, and 175 healthy controls (HCs). The correlations between sleep disorders (including rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)) and serum NfL levels were researched using multiple linear regression models and linear mixed-effects models. We further investigated the correlations between the rates of changes in daytime sleepiness and serum NfL levels using multiple linear regression models.

RESULTS: In baseline analysis, early and prodromal PD individuals who manifested specific behaviors of RBD showed significantly higher levels of serum NfL. Specifically, early PD individuals who experienced nocturnal dream behaviors (β = 0.033; P = 0.042) and movements of arms or legs during sleep (β = 0.027; P = 0.049) showed significantly higher serum NfL levels. For prodromal PD individuals, serum NfL levels were significantly higher in individuals suffering from disturbed sleep (β = 0.038; P = 0.026). Our longitudinal findings support these baseline associations. Serum NfL levels showed an upward trend in early PD individuals who had a higher total RBDSQ score (β = 0.002; P = 0.011) or who were considered as probable RBD (β = 0.012; P = 0.009) or who exhibited behaviors on several sub-items of the RBDSQ. In addition, early PD individuals who had a high total ESS score (β = 0.001; P = 0.012) or who were regarded to have EDS (β = 0.013; P = 0.007) or who exhibited daytime sleepiness in several conditions had a trend toward higher serum NfL levels.

CONCLUSION: Sleep disorders correlate with higher serum NfL, suggesting a link to PD neuronal damage. Early identification of sleep disorders and NfL monitoring are pivotal in detecting at-risk PD patients promptly, allowing for timely intervention. Regular monitoring of NfL levels holds promise for tracking both sleep disorders and disease progression, potentially emerging as a biomarker for evaluating treatment outcomes.

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