Sleep disorders and Parkinson disease; lessons from genetics

Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Oct;41:101-112. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Parkinson disease is a common, age-related neurodegenerative disorder, projected to afflict millions of individuals in the near future. Understanding its etiology and identifying clinical, genetic or biological markers for Parkinson disease onset and progression is therefore of major importance. Various sleep-related disorders are the most common group of non-motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson disease, but they can also occur during its prodromal phase. However, with the exception of REM sleep behavior disorder, it is unclear whether they are part of the early pathological process of Parkinson disease, or if they develop as Parkinson disease advances because of treatments and neurodegeneration progression. The advancements in genetic studies in the past two decades have generated a wealth of information, and recent genetic studies offer new insight on the association of sleep-related disorders with Parkinson disease. More specifically, comparing genetic data between Parkinson disease and sleep-related disorders can clarify their association, which may assist in determining whether they can serve as clinical markers for Parkinson disease risk or progression. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the genetics of sleep-related disorders in Parkinson disease context, and the potential implications on research, diagnosis, counseling and treatment.

Keywords: GBA; Genetics; Glucocerebrosidase; Neurodegeneration; Parkinson disease; RBD; RLS; Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder; Restless legs syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / genetics*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / physiopathology*


  • Biomarkers