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  • 9/20/2010

Mind in sleep disorder key to dementia


Abnormalities reported in the brain imaging of patients with sleep disorder can be a warning sign for the development of neurodegenerative conditions later on in life.

Previous studies have suggested a link between rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder (IRBD) and the development of neurodegenerative conditions several years or even decades later.

According to a study published in The Lancet Neurology, neuroimaging changes in patients with IRBD is a predictive sign for Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or multiple system atrophy.

Striatal dopamine dysfunction detected in single photon emission CT (SPECT) and midbrain hyperechogenicity found in transcranial sonography are the main changes associated with the increased risk of neurological disorder.

"Combined use of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT and TCS is a potential strategy for early identification of IRBD individuals who are at increased short-term risk for development of a synucleinopathy," said Alex Iranzo de Riquer, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.

The test is reported to have sensitivity as high as 100 percent and specificity as high as 55 percent in this regard, the study found.

Scientists concluded that brain imaging can help detect neurodegenerative conditions in patients with REM sleep behavior disorder in early stages, when disease-modifying therapies are more effective.

"If [these patients] were regularly followed-up, the diagnosis of a neurodegenerative syndrome could be established at the earliest possible time, which would allow the initiation of treatment that could result in improved quality of life," Iranzo added. 

IRBD is characterized by nightmares and excessive movements including sudden kicking during dreaming.

Source: presstv.ir

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