Dream imagery, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and hallucinations

Authors


Pr Isabelle Arnulf, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Inserm U975, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris 75013, France. Email: isabelle.arnulf@psl.aphp.fr

Abstract

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and hypnagogic hallucinations are salient symptoms of abnormal and dissociated REM sleep that are frequently associated in serious neurological diseases. RBD is a strong, independent risk factor for hallucinations in narcolepsy (odds ratio: 4.3) and in Parkinson's disease (odds ratio: 2.7). In Parkinson's disease, RBD also predicts incident hallucinations and psychosis in prospective cohorts. Status dissociatus (a mixture of hallucinations, RBD, and dissociated sleep–wake states) is observed in patients with Guillain-Barré when hallucinating, but also in Lewy bodies dementia, delirium tremens, fatal familial insomnia, and Morvan's chorea. This co-occurrence of RBD and visual hallucinations suggests a common, extensive lesion within REM sleep executive systems.

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