REM sleep behavior disorder is related to enteric neuropathology in Parkinson disease
To determine whether REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) in Parkinson disease (PD) is associated with lesions and dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous system by evaluating enteric phosphorylated α-synuclein histopathology (PASH) and permeability.Methods:
A total of 45 patients with PD were included in this cross-sectional study. RBD was diagnosed on the basis of a standardized clinical interview and confirmed by polysomnography. For each patient, 5 biopsies were taken at the junction between the sigmoid and descending colon during the course of a rectosigmoidoscopy. For the detection of enteric PASH, 2 colonic biopsies were analyzed by immunohistochemistry with antibodies against phosphorylated α-synuclein and PGP9.5 in 43 patients (2 patients were excluded because only 1 biopsy was available). The paracellular permeability and transcellular permeability were evaluated by measuring sulfonic acid and horseradish peroxidase flux, respectively, in the 3 remaining biopsies mounted in Ussing chambers.Results:
Enteric PASH was more frequent in the subgroup of patients with PD with RBD compared to patients without RBD (18 of 28, 64.3%, vs 2 of 15, 13.3%, respectively, p < 0.01). No differences were observed in intestinal permeability between patients with PD with and without RBD.Conclusions:
Patients with PD and RBD have a greater frequency of synuclein pathology in the enteric nervous system, suggesting that RBD is associated with widespread synuclein neuropathology.