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Sleep Fragmentation Linked with PD in Older Adults

Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Oct 30; Sohail, Yu, et al

Sleep fragmentation is associated with Parkinson disease (PD) pathology in older adults without PD, according to a recent study. These results suggest that sleep fragmentation may be a marker of or risk factor for PD pathology in older adults without PD. Researchers studied 269 older adults without PD who had participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project and undergone uniform structured neuropathologic evaluations upon death. Sleep fragmentation was measured using actigraphy. Logistic regression models examined the associations of sleep fragmentation proximate to death with the burden of Lewy body pathology and substantia nigra neuron loss. They found:

  • Greater sleep fragmentation was associated with the presence of Lewy body pathology (odds ratio 1.40; 95% confidence interval 1.05-1.86) and substantia nigra neuron loss (odds ratio 1.43; 95% confidence interval 1.10-1.88) and a higher odds of a pathological diagnosis of PD (odds ratio 2.04; 95% confidence interval 1.34-3.16).
  • These associations were independent of motor features of parkinsonism, demographic characteristics, and a wide range of medical co-morbidities.


Sohail S, Yu L, Schneider JA, Bennett DA, Buchman AS, Lim ASP. Sleep fragmentation and Parkinson's disease pathology in older adults without Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print October 30, 2017]. Mov Disord. doi:10.1002/mds.27200.