Sleep disorders, especially restless legs syndrome (RLS) and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD), are common in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 or Machado–Joseph disease (MJD), and a possible underlying dopaminergic dysfunction is implicated. This study assessed the relationship between sleep disorders in MJD and dopamine transporter (DAT) densities.
Patients and methods
Twenty-two patients with MJD and twenty healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. MJD patients underwent clinical sleep evaluation and polysomnography. SPECT with [99mTc]-TRODAT-1, was performed in all subjects.
DAT densities were significantly reduced in MJD group when compared to controls. No significant correlation was found between DAT densities and RLS or RBD in MJD.
Our study failed to demonstrate a clear correlation between sleep disorders and DAT densities in MJD patients, hence suggesting that extrastriatal and non-presynaptic dopamine pathways could be implicated in MJD-related sleep disorders.
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Published online: November 08, 2012
Accepted: October 12, 2012
Received in revised form: October 12, 2012
Received: July 14, 2012
☆Protection of Human Research Subjects and Human Subject Informed Consent: The procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). All subjects signed the approved informed consent form.
© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.