Association of Sleepwalking and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder with Parkinson Disease in Men

Xinyuan Zhang, Samantha A. Molsberry, Milena Pavlova, Michael A. Schwarzschild, Alberto Ascherio, Xiang Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Importance: Previous studies conducted among patients with Parkinson disease (PD) reported that parasomnias other than rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD), particularly sleepwalking (SW), are associated with PD severity. However, it remains unclear whether the presence of SW is associated with altered odds of having PD in a population-based study. Objective: To evaluate whether probable SW, either alone or co-occurring with probable RBD, is associated with higher odds of PD in men. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study included 25694 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a population-based cohort of male health professionals in the US with information on probable SW and probable RBD. Data collection took place between January 2012 and June 2018, and data analysis took place from July 2020 to October 2020. Exposures: Probable SW and probable RBD were measured by questions adapted from the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire in 2012. Main Outcomes and Measures: PD, confirmed after review of medical records by a movement disorder specialist. Results: Of the 25694 studied men (mean [SD] age, 75.6 [7.4] years), 223 (0.9%) had probable SW, 2720 (10.6%) had probable RBD, and 257 (1.0%) had PD. After adjusting for potential confounders (eg, age, smoking, caffeine intake, chronic disease status, and other sleep disorders), compared with individuals without probable SW and probable RBD, participants with probable SW, probable RBD, and both probable SW and probable RBD had higher odds of PD, (probable SW: odds ratio [OR], 4.80; 95% CI, 1.61-14.26; probable RBD: OR, 6.36; 95% CI, 4.83-8.37; both probable SW and probable RBD: OR, 8.44; 95% CI, 3.90-18.27). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of a male population, probable sleep parasomnias, including both SW and RBD, were associated with higher odds of having PD. PD-related neurodegeneration may impair arousal regulation during sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere215713
JournalJAMA network open
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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