Background: Autonomic dysfunctions including sudomotor abnormalities commonly occur in early Parkinson's disease (PD), but little is known about potential sudomotor abnormalities in idiopathic REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (iRBD), a strong prodromal marker of PD.
Objective: Our aim was to assess sudomotor dysfunction by galvanic skin response using SudoScan, as well as other autonomic markers in 49 iRBD, 40 PD (21 with RBD, 19 without), 20 atypical parkinsonisms, and 41 age-matched controls.
Methods: All subjects underwent SudoScan of their hands and feet, a 30-second electrocardiogram with assessment of beat-to-beat variability, assessment of orthostatic blood pressure changes and autonomic symptom questionnaires.
Results: The galvanic skin response in the hands of PD patients with RBD was significantly smaller than controls (hand mean difference = -7.877, 95% CI (-13.283, -2.470), p-value = 0.004) and PD patients without RBD (hand mean difference = -9.578, 95% CI (-17.215, -1.941), p-value = 0.014). iRBD and atypical parkinsonism did not have different SudoScan profiles than controls.
Conclusions: Galvanic skin responses, as measured by SudoScan did not demonstrate significant sudomotor dysfunction in iRBD, but decreases were seen in the PD subtype associated with RBD.
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; SudoScan; autonomic; galvanic skin response; iRBD.