Visual hallucinations and symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder in Parkinsonian tauopathies

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Jun;23(6):598-603. doi: 10.1002/gps.1945.


Background: In Parkinsonism, visual hallucinations (VH) and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) have been thought to indicate underlying synucleinopathy.

Objectives: We tested the validity of this hypothesis by searching for VH and RBD symptoms in Parkinsonism related to tauopathies.

Methods: Patients with progressive supranuclear palsy or corticobasal degeneration were identified via a clinical data bank.

Results: Of 53 patients who expressed study interest by telephone, 44 returned questionnaires. VH occurred in 16% of patients. Similarly, acting out of dreams occurred in 16% of patients. Neither VH nor RBD symptoms were linked to disease duration or dopaminergic medication and there was no mutual association.

Conclusion: VH and RBD symptoms also occur in Parkinsonism related to tauopathies, thus refuting the initial hypothesis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / etiology*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnosis
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / psychology
  • Tauopathies / psychology*