Neuroimaging of Sleep Disturbances in Movement Disorders

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep dysfunction is recognized as a distinct clinical manifestation in movement disorders, often reported early on in the disease course. Excessive daytime sleepiness, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and restless leg syndrome, amidst several others, are common sleep disturbances that often result in significant morbidity. In this article, we review the spectrum of sleep abnormalities across atypical Parkinsonian disorders including multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS), as well as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). We also explore the current concepts on the neurobiological underpinnings of sleep disorders, including the role of dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic pathways, by evaluating the molecular, structural and functional neuroimaging evidence based on several novel techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). Based on the current state of research, we suggest that neuroimaging is an invaluable tool for assessing structural and functional correlates of sleep disturbances, harboring the ability to shed light on the sleep problems attached to the limited treatment options available today. As our understanding of the pathophysiology of sleep and wake disruption heightens, novel therapeutic approaches are certain to transpire.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018


  • neuroimaging, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, sleep, Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinsonism, REM behavior sleep disorder, excessive daytime sleepiness


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