Objective: To investigate the frequency and subtypes of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) in association with RBD.
Methods: One hundred and twelve subjects without dementia or major depression including 32 idiopathic RBD patients, 22 PD patients with polysomnography-confirmed RBD, 18 PD patients without RBD, and 40 healthy control subjects, underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. We compared the proportion of patients with MCI between groups using standard diagnostic criteria.
Results: MCI was found in 50% of idiopathic RBD patients and 73% of PD patients with RBD. In contrast, only 11% of PD patients without RBD and 8% of control subjects had MCI. The presence of MCI was significantly greater in idiopathic RBD patients and PD patients with RBD than in PD patients without RBD and control subjects. PD patients with RBD also performed worse than idiopathic RBD patients on neuropsychological tests assessing visuoconstructional and visuoperceptual abilities.
Interpretation: In both its association with PD and its idiopathic form, RBD is an important risk factor for MCI. Except for visuoconstructional and visuoperceptual problems, RBD may be an important determinant of cognitive impairment in PD. Ann Neurol 2009;66:39-47.