Excessive daytime sleepiness is a frequent complaint in Parkinson's disease (PD); however the frequency and risk factors for objective sleepiness remain mostly unknown. We investigated both the frequency and determinants of self-reported and objective daytime sleepiness in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) using a wide range of potential predictors.
One hundred and thirty four consecutive patients with PD, without selection bias for sleep complaint, underwent a semi-structured clinical interview and a one night polysomnography followed by a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). Demographic characteristics, medical history, PD course and severity, daytime sleepiness, depressive and insomnia symptoms, treatment intake, pain, restless legs syndrome, REM sleep behaviour disorder, and nighttime sleep measures were collected. Self-reported daytime sleepiness was defined by an Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score above 10. A mean sleep latency on MSLT below 8 minutes defined objective daytime sleepiness.
Of 134 patients with PD, 46.3% had subjective and only 13.4% had objective sleepiness with a weak negative correlation between ESS and MSLT latency. A high body mass index (BMI) was associated with both ESS and MSLT, a pain complaint with ESS, and a higher apnea/hypopnea index with MSLT. However, no associations were found between both objective and subjective sleepiness, and measures of motor disability, disease onset, medication (type and dose), depression, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, REM sleep behaviour disorder and nighttime sleep evaluation.
We found a high frequency of self-reported EDS in PD, a finding which is however not confirmed by the gold standard neurophysiological evaluation. Current treatment options for EDS in PD are very limited; it thus remains to be determined whether decreasing pain and BMI in association with the treatment of sleep apnea syndrome would decrease significantly daytime sleepiness in PD.