Insomnia medication can treat dream behavior with fewer side effects

Researchers have found that sleep medications commonly used to treat insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, significantly reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder.
The study findings suggested that these drugs, known as dual orexin receptor antagonists, might also cause fewer side effects.
REM sleep behavior disorder is a disorder that occurs primarily in adults over 50 years of age in which a person often unknowingly acts out their dreams during sleep with vocal noises or sudden, violent arm and leg movements, resulting in significant harm to themselves or others. bed partners.
By outlining a model to better describe how REM sleep behavior disorder develops as a result of neurodegeneration associated with tau protein accumulation, Mount Sinai researchers in the US have provided an early biomarker of impending neurodegeneration in this study.
This, they say, could guide future prevention and treatment.
Their study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
“We identify a new model in which REM sleep behavior disorder can arise, due to neurodegeneration associated with tau protein accumulation, and a new therapy that could minimize REM sleep behavior disorder,” said corresponding author Andrew W. Varga, associate professor. of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
In a mouse model, the researchers examined the brain for neurodegenerative disorders following abnormal deposits of tau, a protein that normally helps stabilize the internal skeleton of nerve cells in the brain.
They analyzed behavioral states, including wakefulness, phases of REM (sleep with dreams), phases of non-REM (sleep without dreams), sleep duration, transitions from wakefulness to sleep, and how some factors are related to age.
The researchers found that nearly one-third of the older subjects showed dream enactment behaviors reminiscent of REM sleep behavior disorder, including chewing and extremity stretching.
Administration of a dual orexin receptor antagonist twice over a 24-hour period was found not only to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and to increase both the quality and duration of sleep, but also to increase levels of dream performance. Reduce.
The medication was administered twice to evaluate sleep in light and dark phases.
“We expected sleep quality to deteriorate with progressive neurodegeneration related to tau accumulation, but the observation of dream performance was a surprise,” said lead author Korey Kam, assistant professor of medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) at Icahn Mount Sinai. .

“It was even more surprising and exciting to see that a dual orexin receptor antagonist could significantly minimize the dream-execution behavior,” Kam said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Insomnia medication can treat dream behavior with fewer side effects

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