Selective enhancement of rapid eye movement sleep by deep brain stimulation of the human pons

Ann Neurol. 2009 Jul;66(1):110-4. doi: 10.1002/ana.21631.


Animal studies suggest that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is governed by the interaction of REM-promoting and REM-inhibiting nuclei in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum. The pedunculopontine nucleus is proposed to be REM promoting. Using polysomnography, we studied sleep in five parkinsonian patients undergoing unilateral pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS). We demonstrated a near doubling of nocturnal REM sleep between the DBS "off" and DBS "on" states, without significant changes in other sleep states. This represents the first demonstration that DBS can selectively modulate human sleep, and it supports an important role for the pedunculopontine nucleus region in modulating human REM sleep. Ann Neurol 2009;66:110-114.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Pons / physiology*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / etiology
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / therapy*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / complications
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / therapy