Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Obvious Need for Education

My Dad was hospitalized for an appendectomy this week. One of my main concerns was that the surgeon and anesthesiologist be aware of his RBD. So when they came in to speak with us prior to the surgery my Mom and I told them about it and sure enough, we were met with blank stares. Neither of them had ever heard of RBD. And to be quite honest, neither of them seemed to be particularly interested either. Oh wait, one of them did make note of it by writing it on his palm (!!!!!).

Frankly, I shouldn't have been all that surprised. Several years ago we took my Dad to see one of the supposed top neurologists in the state and he said he had never heard of such a thing. I actually had to email him information on RBD after our appointment.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RBD Goes Off-Broadway

This could be one of the coolest things ever! Comedian Mike Barbiglia (who was diagnosed with RBD) is sharing his journey through his struggles with sleep disorders in an off-broadway show called Sleepwalking With Me! Also check out the editorial at Advance for Sleep for his complete story.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RBD & Glycine

I came across this article today which was published in the 3/26/08 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. If nothing else, I just love that RBD research is alive and kicking (no pun intended)! Click on the title to go directly to the article.

Glycine Could Be Key To REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Article Date: 28 Mar 2008 - 1:00 PDT

There is new promise on the horizon for those who suffer from REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) according to researchers at the University of Toronto.

RDB, a neurological disorder that causes violent twitches and muscle contractions during rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep, can lead to serious injuries. John Peever, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, discovered that an inhibitory brain chemical called glycine is responsible for actively suppressing muscle twitches in REM sleep. Deficiency in glycine levels in the brain cells that control muscles (motoneurons) was found to cause the violent muscle contractions that mimic the primary symptom of RBD.

"This study shows the mechanism that suppresses muscles twitches in REM sleep and this will lead to better treatments and potential cures for this disorder," says Peever. "Treating REM sleep disorder may have much broader implications, since within five to eight years of being diagnosed with this disorder, 60-80% of individuals eventually develop Parkinson's disease."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
The study findings are published in the March 26th edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.
For more information, please contact:
John Peever
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology & Cell & Systems Biology