Investigating the night-to-night variability of REM without atonia in Parkinson's disease

Samuel J. Bolitho*, Sharon L. Naismith, Zoe Terpening, Ron R. Grunstein, Kerri Melehan, Brendon J. Yee, Alessandra Coeytaux, Simon J. G. Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder is frequently observed in Parkinson's disease and is characterized electrophysiologically by the absence of atonia during REM sleep. However, the night-to-night variability of REM sleep without atonia is yet to be determined in Parkinson's disease. Methods: Using polysomnography, this study measured the variability of REM sleep without atonia across two consecutive nights, using the REM atonia index in 38 patients with Parkinson's disease. Results: The intraclass correlation coefficient between the REM sleep atonia index across two nights was 0.816 (F=9.795, p<0.001) and the difference between the two nights was 4.7% (standard deviation (SD) 8.2). Conclusion: The REM atonia index demonstrated low variability across two consecutive nights of PSG. Furthermore, the diagnosis of REM sleep behaviour disorder based on this electrophysiological marker and other clinical variables was in agreement across the two nights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's disease
  • REM atonia index
  • REM sleep behaviour disorder
  • REM without atonia


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