Combating Sleep Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

Kevin Kunzmann

Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, associate professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses new patient monitoring opportunities and other methods of treatment for one of Parkinson's disease patients' most common symptoms.

Sleep disorder is prevalent in almost every Parkinson’s disease (PD) patient, worsening the efficacy of their own treatment and quality of life.

These disorders are not just about night-time sleep, Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, said. It’s about day-time function, and it includes a “rich phenotype” of disorders.

“Therefore, good treatment paradigm really needs to start with the discussion about symptoms leading to diagnosis,” Videnovic said.

Videnovic, associate professor at Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke about the debilitating effects of sleep disorder in PD patients the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Vancouber, BC. But treatment optimization and advancements in patient monitoring are aiding those it affects.

“We will certainly see more emphasis on important monitoring with these devices that are being specifically designed for the Parkinson’s disease population,” Videnovic said. “There are a lot of these sleep monitoring apps and paradigms that already in the market for available use for general sleep assessment.”

Videnovic sees these programs and apps coming into the mainstream of PD treatment, helping clinicians see the sleep dynamics of patients while not costing them the comfort of home care.

These advancements, as long as advocacy for healthy exercise and diet to supplement treatment efficacy, will aid those inflicted with one of PD’s most common and most difficult symptoms.