Sleep disturbance is highly prevalent in Parkinson’s disease, and deep brain stimulation therapy (DBS) may benefit sleep quality and duration. This is according to new findings from The Parkinson Alliance (PA) survey “Sleep in Parkinson’s Disease With and Without Deep Brain Stimulation.”
Given that sleep disturbance is a significant problem for people with Parkinson’s—with health, social, and psychological implications—PA conducted a survey related to sleep; 1,247 individuals with Parkinson’s participated, including 353 participants who underwent DBS and 894 individuals without DBS.
The majority of participants in this study reported significant sleep disturbance. After controlling for age and disease duration, individuals who have DBS reported less nighttime sleep disturbance specifically related to motor symptoms and other PD symptoms. Additionally, the individuals who had DBS reported longer duration of consecutive hours of nighttime sleep as compared to the individuals who did not have DBS.
“This research conducted by The Parkinson Alliance highlights the prevalence of sleep disturbance across age and disease duration for individuals with PD. This study has a large number of participants, giving a glimpse into the pervasive nature of sleep disturbance for individuals with PD, further reinforcing the importance of assessing non-motor symptoms in this population. Importantly, this report gives an understanding about contributing factors to sleep disturbance and thorough and practical recommendations that may help improve sleep in individuals with PD,” says Jeffrey Wertheimer, PhD, clinical neuropsychologist and chief research consultant for PA, in a release. Wertheimer adds, “Sleep disturbance is often under-assessed and undertreated. Once individuals with PD and their treatment providers have a better understanding about the contributing factors to poor sleep, intervention can be initiated. Moreover, following a proper assessment of sleep disturbance, numerous techniques can be initiated, including implementation of good sleep hygiene, behavioral intervention (modifying behavior to assist with improving sleep), medications to facilitate sleep, and/or specialized sleep devices, such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines.”