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REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Normally, the body is temporarily paralyzed while sleeping due to multiple neuronal pathways. When these pathways are inhibited, the body’s motor neurons will remain active while sleeping. This can result in a variety of movements and vocalizations taking place while sleeping and lead to one physically acting out their dreams. This is a condition known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder.

 

REM sleep behavior disorder is more likely to occur in males over the age of 50. It can be caused by taking certain medications, but this is not very common. This disorder can often result in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or multiple system atrophy, in the future.

 

Symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder typically include movements ranging anywhere from small hand movements to kicking, punching, arm flailing, and even getting out of bed. People might also make noises along with this. Following an episode, it is common to remember what the dream was about.

 

REM sleep behavior disorder can be diagnosed with clinical history and confirmed with a sleep study. Treatment includes Melatonin or Clonazepam to help with symptom reduction. Your doctor may also recommend physical safeguards to protect you from injury while experiencing this. 

Author
Neuro Team

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