Up to 60% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have RBD, as do 80 to 100% of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies and multisystem atrophy, reports Neurology Advisor.

“What these diseases all have in common is that they are synucleinopathies, and they have pathology that involves specific subcortical and brainstem areas, including those involved in the regulation of atonia during REM sleep,” said Walter.

A prospective cohort study published in the August 2015 issue of JAMA Neurology found that RBD may be a marker indicating more aggressive progression of PD.1 The authors concluded with a recommendation that patients with PD be screened for RBD at baseline visits, as it identifies a “diffuse/malignant subgroup of patients with PD for whom the most rapid progression rate could be expected.”1