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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 219056, 10 pages
Review Article

Sleep Disturbances Associated with Parkinson's Disease

Department of Neurology, Center of Sleep Medicine, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Shimotsuga, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan

Received 14 November 2010; Revised 23 April 2011; Accepted 22 June 2011

Academic Editor: Dag Aarsland

Copyright © 2011 Keisuke Suzuki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sleep disturbances are common problems affecting the quality life of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and are often underestimated. The causes of sleep disturbances are multifactorial and include nocturnal motor disturbances, nocturia, depressive symptoms, and medication use. Comorbidity of PD with sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, or circadian cycle disruption also results in impaired sleep. In addition, the involvement of serotoninergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic neurons in the brainstem as a disease-related change contributes to impaired sleep structures. Excessive daytime sleepiness is not only secondary to nocturnal disturbances or dopaminergic medication but may also be due to independent mechanisms related to impairments in ascending arousal system and the orexin system. Notably, several recent lines of evidence suggest a strong link between rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. In the present paper, we review the current literature concerning sleep disorders in PD.