REM sleep behavior disorder is not linked to postural instability and gait dysfunction in Parkinson


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


To evaluate a potential association of REM-sleep behavior disorder (RBD) with gait and postural impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD). Gait difficulties and postural impairment are frequent in PD and are a major cause of disability. Animal studies indicate a key role of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) in gait, postural control, and REM sleep, and also in the pathophysiology of RBD. In humans, such an association has not been investigated. Twenty-six patients with mild-to-moderate PD (13 with polysomnography confirmed and 13 with excluded RBD), and 20 age-matched healthy controls were prospectively investigated. Gait assessment on a treadmill, and static and dynamic posturography were performed. PD patients with RBD do not differ from those without RBD in gait and postural control. Greater severity of PD or prevalence of gait and postural disturbances in the presence of RBD were not found. RBD was not associated with any particular motor phenotype. We found no association of RBD with gait disturbances and postural impairment. Human gait and postural control and RBD appear to depend upon different neuronal circuits. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society