I first learned about the use of melatonin in the treatment of RBD in Dr. Carlos Schenck's book entitled "Sleep: The Mysteries, The Problems, And The Solutions". I literally ran to the computer and Google'd every combination of search terms involving RBD and melatonin I could think of. What I found was quite promising. But the truth is, just the fact that someone was talking about something other than Klonopin (Clonazepam) was enough to give me some much needed hope!
And the reason is this...
My Dad was put on Klonopin when he was first diagnosed. In fact, he was told it was a "absolute requirement". Initially the Klopin worked quite well, his RBD episodes decreased in intensity and frequency. But the problem was that over time his body had built-up a tolerance to it and the dose had to be continually increased. Fast forward to the time I learned about melatonin and let's just say my Dad was in BAD shape. The side effects of the increasingly higher doses of Klonopin were literally ruining his life. He was groggy, drowsy, fatigued, depressed, anxious, confused, shakey and showing blatant signs of ataxia (loss of balance & coordination). He was almost a shadow of the Dad I knew. I was beyond desperate to find an alternative.
It was at this time that I reviewed just about every website I had visited that mentioned RBD and sent out emails to everyone from the administrator of a sleep site I frequented to several health professionals. Finally someone replied and said they could put me in touch with Dr. Carlos Schenck himself! It was Christmas eve 2007 and I couldn't think of a better gift. I remember shaking when I got his email address and trying to compose an email to convey how badly I needed help without sounding like a nutcase!
Dr. Schenck replied with a referral to a specialist in our area and in answer to my question about the benefits of melatonin in the treatment of RBD (I was ready to start my Dad on it NOW!), he advised that we discuss the issue with the doctor.
Fast forward several weeks and we took my Dad to see that doctor and he literally changed my Dad's life, which you can read about here: There is Help... and Hope!
More can be read on the use of melatonin in the treatment of RBD here:
Melatonin Effects in a Patient with Severe REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Melatonin Helps Alleviate Violent Sleep Disorder Symptoms
Melatonin for Treatment of REM Sleep Disorder in Neurologic Disorders
And also at Monika Woolsey's blog here:
Melatonin & REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
2 years ago