Association between REM sleep behaviour disorder and impulse control disorder in patients with Parkinson's disease

Neurologia. 2017 Oct;32(8):494-499. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 Apr 14.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: The relationship between impulse control disorder (ICD) and REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) has not yet been clarified, and the literature reports contradictory results. Our purpose is to analyse the association between these 2 disorders and their presence in patients under dopaminergic treatment.

Methods: A total of 73 patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and treated with a single dopamine agonist were included in the study after undergoing clinical assessment and completing the single-question screen for REM sleep behaviour disorder and the short version of the questionnaire for impulsive-compulsive behaviours in Parkinson's disease.

Results: Mean age was 68.88 ± 7.758 years. Twenty-six patients (35.6%) were classified as probable-RBD. This group showed a significant association with ICD (P=.001) and had a higher prevalence of non-tremor akinetic rigid syndrome and longer duration of treatment with levodopa and dopamine agonists than the group without probable-RBD. We found a significant correlation between the use of oral dopamine agonists and ICD. Likewise, patients treated with oral dopamine agonists demonstrated a greater tendency toward presenting probable-RBD than patients taking dopamine agonists by other routes; the difference was non-significant.

Conclusions: The present study confirms the association between RBD and a higher risk of developing symptoms of ICD in Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Agonistas dopaminérgicos; Dopamine agonists; Enfermedad de Parkinson; Impulse control disorder and related behaviours; Parkinson's Disease Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders Questionnaire; Parkinson's disease; REM sleep behaviour disorder; Single-Question Screen for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder; Trastorno de conducta del sueño REM; Trastorno de control de impulsos y conductas relacionadas.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / complications*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / psychology
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Prevalence
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / complications*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / psychology


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Levodopa