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Sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases


R. Ferri, Department of Neurology I.C., Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS), Via Conte Ruggero 73, 94018 Troina, Italy (tel.: +39 935 936111; fax: +39 935 936694; e-mail:


The aim of this review is to provide data on sleep disturbances in three categories of neurodegenerative disorders: synucleinopathies, tauopathies, and other diseases (this heterogeneous group includes also spinocerebellar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Analysing and knowing sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases may offer important insights into the pathomechanism of some of these diseases and calls attention to the still insufficiently known ‘sleep neurology’. The identification of sleep disorders in some neurodegenerative conditions may make their diagnosis easier and earlier; for example, rapid eye movements sleep behaviour disorder may precede any other clinical manifestation of synucleinopathies by more than 10 years.