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Mental health and addiction :
REM Behavior Disorder/Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder

Rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder involves acting out dreams during REM sleep. Normally, during REM sleep, a person’s voluntary muscles are temporarily paralyzed and he cannot move. A person with this disorder loses muscle paralysis and may talk and do other things, acting out his dreams in his sleep. Sometimes, the behavior is violent and can injure people nearby.

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1. Who treats patients with REM Behavior Disorder (RBD)?

A Sleep specialist treats patients with REM Behavior Disorder (RBD).

2. Is it true that patients with REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) subsequently develop Parkinson’s disease?

Yes, about 38% of patients diagnosed with RBD subsequently developed Parkinson disease within an average time of 12-13 years from the onset of RBD symptoms.

3. A person can pretend that he is suffering from this disorder, can it be proved that he is not having this disorder?

Yes, two points can help to prove that:

a. On a polysomnographic recording a normal REM stage of sleep shows up as heightened brain activity with loss of muscle tone in the chin Electromyogram (EMG). In a person with RBD the recording will show heightened brain activity with increased muscle tone in the chin Electromyogram (EMG).

b. Further if there is a video recording it will further help to confirm the findings.

4. Does lack of adequate sleep aggravate this disorder?

All sleep disorders are aggravated by lack of adequate sleep. Adhering to strict sleep hygiene reduces the frequency and severity of attacks.

5. What are the other aggravating factors?

An acute form of the disorder may occur during withdrawal from alcohol or sedative-hypnotic drugs.

6. How effective is the treatment regimen for REM Behavior Disorder RBD?

REM Behavior Disorder RBD is a progressive disease, but the symptoms are effectively controlled with Clonazepam.

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