Sleep breathing disorders in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Respir Med. 2003 Oct;97(10):1151-7. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(03)00188-4.


Study objectives: to investigate the presence of sleep breathing disorders in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and their correlation with the severity of the disease.

Participants: Fifteen patients (mean age 63 +/- 4 years) with idiopathic PD (Group A) and 15 healthy matched controls (Group B) were studied. All patients were under treatment with L-Dopa/Carbidopa and classified according to the UPDRS motor scale: 8 had mild disease (UPDRS < 12), 6 moderate (UPDRS: 12-22) and 1 severe (UPDRS > 22).

Measurements and results: All participants underwent full night polysomnography (PSG). The sleep-wake history was assessed. Spirometry, maximal respiratory pressures and arterial blood gases were also measured. Snoring was more common in Group A patients (73.3% vs. 33.3%, p = 0.002). Among the parameters studied apnea hypopnea index (AHI), mean O2 saturation, minimum O2 saturation, REM% sleep and Arousal Index (Arousal Index) were statistically different between the two groups. Furthermore, 9 PD patients fulfilled the criteria for obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) predominately mild, 1 for central sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (CSAHS) and 5 were normal. In all patients a marked reduction in percentage REM sleep was observed. Among the patients with OSAHS 5 had mild PD, 3 moderate and 1 severe. The patient with CSAHS had moderate disease. Finally, 3 patients with mild and 2 with moderate PD had no evidence of sleep breathing disorders. Correlations between severity of disease and sleep parameters are provided.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that sleep breathing disorders, predominantly obstructive, seem to be common in PD and those events correlate with the severity of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Vital Capacity / physiology