BACKGROUND/AIMS: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is frequent in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Occasionally, EDS in PD exhibits narcolepsy-like features. We aimed to assess characteristics and determinants of EDS in consecutive patients with PD.
METHODS: Thirty consecutive patients with PD underwent a detailed clinical examination. EDS was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). Sleep was assessed using video-polysomnography. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1 levels were obtained in 3 patients.
RESULTS: ESS was >10 in 17 patients (57%). Mean sleep latency (MSL) on MSLT was <5 min in 11 patients (37%). There was a significant negative correlation between ESS and MSL. None of the 11 patients with MSL <5 min showed a sleep onset REM (SOREM) episode. Patients with EDS had higher dopamine agonists/levodopa equivalent doses, higher apnea/hypopnea index and exhibited wearing-off symptoms more often. Hypocretin-1 was normal in 3 patients tested.
CONCLUSION: EDS, which can sometimes be severe, is common in PD patients even in the absence of SOREM and detectable CSF-hypocretin deficiency. In PD, EDS is a multifaceted phenomenon, the determinants of which include severity of PD, wearing-off symptoms, dosage of antiparkinsonian drugs and sleep-disordered breathing.