New research shows major sleep disturbances overlooked in management of patients with Parkinson's disease

nly gives a general indication of daytime sleepiness and does not address the nature of the sleep disruption common in patients with PD.

Dr Chaudhuri advised, "Sleep disturbance, insomnia and its implications such as excessive daytime sleepiness are a major cause of morbidity and impaired quality of life for patients with PD. We need to be aware of the impact of sleep disturbance on PD patients' lives, and should treat them with therapies shown to improve this problem".

He presented results in a group of patients who used the PDSS. The PDSS measures the level of sleep disturbance by asking patients to assess the severity of 15 commonly reported symptoms associated with sleep disturbance in PD, with an easy-to-use visual scale. The PDSS has demonstrated the ability to objectively quantify the effects of drug therapy in the management of sleep symptoms.

Results from 62 patients (mean age 65.9 years), diagnosed with PD an average of 6.1 years, showed that the mean total PDSS score was 92.0 out of a maximum score of 150 (range 46-150, with a lower score indicating more sleep disturbance). A group of 16 patients in the study were tested before and after treatment with cabergoline, given for a mean period of eight months. Dr Chaudhuri reported that the mean total PDSS for this subgroup increased from 76.3 before treatment, to 99.1 post-therapy.

Explaining the results Dr Chaudhuri said, "Cabergoline therapy achieved statistically significant improvements in patients' quality of sleep over six of the 15 key symptoms of sleep disturbance. There were improvements in the patients' subjective rating of their sleep quality and a reduction in nocturnal awakenings". He suggested, "These improvements are likely due to the very long half-life of cabergoline (more than 65 hours) which allows improved symptom and fluctuation control throughout the night as well as the day".

Actigraphy -- Improving the assessment of movement disorders in PD Professo

Contact: Roseann Ward

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