What Causes REM Sleep Behavior Disorder?

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Sleep Disorder Info

Doctors and the scientific community are still trying to figure out what the exact causes of REM sleep behavior disorder are. What is known however is that this condition will generally occur along with other degenerative disorders (neurological) conditions including Parkinson’s Disease and multi-system atrophy as well as a few other conditions that are only known to the medical community? Even though some information is known to medical professionals regarding the precise cause of REM sleep behavior disorder, in as high as fifty-five percent of cases the causes are still unknown while in the remaining forty-five percent of cases the reasons ascribed to causing REM sleep behavior disorder include alcohol as well as withdrawal (sedative-hypnotic).

Parkinson’s Disease

However, before the onset of REM sleep behavior disorder, a person is more likely to already have developed cases of REM sleep disorders and according to some studies it was estimated that as many as thirty-eight percent of people studied also developed Parkinson’s Disease after having developed REM sleep behavior disorder.

The symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder include acting in a way that suggests that the patient is enacting their dreams and these acts often turn out to be violent and can lead to self-injuries as well as injuring the bed partner. However, the behaviors (dream enacting) is not directed at anyone or anything in particular though it does involve that the patient indulges in punching and kicking as well as leaps and even jumps in their bed during their sleep.

In case, you notice such behaviors in someone you know, or God forbid, it occurs to you, it is necessary that you act without delay and seek medical help. The fact of the matter is that people that suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder can be at higher risk of causing them as well as others injuries and so early treatment is recommended.

Some of the things that you can do in order to protect a person suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder include removing dangerous objects from their bedrooms, clearing furniture and other objects that can cause harm to the patient. Also, you should try and make the patient sleep on the mattress or even place cushions around their beds.

Sometimes, REM sleep disorder treatment requires dosing the patient with medications. Typically, this might mean that you give the patient Clonazepam that has been found to be very effective in treating these disorders and in fact, success rates have been reported as being extremely high.