Researchers from Chinese University Hong Kong (CUHK) report that people with first-degree relatives suffering from rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder (RBD) are at three to six times greater risk of having Parkinson’s Disease. The Faculty of Medicine of CUHK conducted the world’s first RBD family study to systematically investigate the links with first-degree relatives on Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases reported Xinhuanet recently. CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Sichuan University in the Chinese mainland, the University of Hong Kong, and McGill University in Canada, investigated the familial link and aggregation of RBD, also its influence on neurodegeneration.
The study involved 102 RBD patients and 89 healthy individuals, and their 791 first-degree relatives, including parents, siblings and offspring.
The study found that the first-degree relatives of RBD patients were 3-6 times more likely to suffer from a series of problems related to neurodegeneration, including RBD diagnosis, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia than the first-degree relatives of the healthy controls.
Yun Kwok Wing, chairman of CUHK’s Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine