Monday, July 9, 2012

Pesticides Linked With Troubling Sleep Disorder

Smoking, head injury, low education level, working in a farm, and pesticide exposure may be risk factors for REM sleep behavior disorder—an illness that makes people kick or punch during sleep, Ronald Postuma, M.D., and colleagues at McGill University reported June 27 in Neurology. Until now, not much was known about the risk factors for this rare disorder, except that it was more common in men and in older people.

The disorder can also be a precursor to Parkinson's disease. Intriguingly, one of the factors assessed in the new study, pesticide exposure, appears to be a risk factor for Parkinson's, in addition to its link with REM sleep behavior disorder. However, smoking seems to be a protective factor as far as Parkinson's disease is concerned, other researchers have found.

For more information about the psychiatric issues often found in Parkinson's patients, including sleep problems, see a report in Psychiatric News.

(Image: lightpoet/


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.