Edited by sleep and movement disorders specialists, a new comprehensive book addresses scientific and clinical aspects of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, also known as RBD. Entitled Rapid-Eye-Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder, the book is edited by Carlos H. Schenck, MD, Birgit Högl, MD, and Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, and published by Springer.

Key features of the book include:

  • Describing the role of RBD as one of the earliest markers of ongoing neurodegeneration
  • Discussing its significance for testing disease modifying therapies that may halt the progression of these neurodegenerative disorders for which we currently do not have a cure
  • Serving as a major resource for courses in sleep medicine, neurology, psychiatry, movement disorders, and neurosciences

This book describes RBD, a sleep disorder belonging to the category of parasomnias and characterized by abnormal vocal and motor behaviors in the context of vivid dreams and loss of the customary muscle atonia during REM sleep. In healthy people, REM-atonia prevents the dreamer from acting-out dreams (and possibly becoming injured or injuring a bed partner). REM sleep behavior disorder was first described in 1986 by Schenck and colleagues.

Since then the understanding of the condition has increased exponentially, including the elucidation of strong links with the development of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by alpha synuclein deposition, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy. What’s more, RBD is now considered one of the earliest markers of ongoing alpha synuclein neurodegeneration—and provides a window of opportunity for testing disease modifying therapies that may slow down or halt the progression of these disorders for which there is currently no cure. According to the editors, RBD is today known to be present in more than 50% of patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy, and can also be triggered by the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications (such as SSRIs and venlafaxine).

The book is available at springer.com/shop.