Press Release

​​​​Aging-US: Pineal gland associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder

09-08-2021

Aging-US published a Special Collection on Eye Disease which included "Pineal gland volume is associated with prevalent and incident isolated rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder" which reported that pineal gland volume may be associated with the risk of isolated rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD).

The authors enrolled 245 cognitively normal elderly individuals without major psychiatric or neurological disorders at the baseline evaluation and 2-year follow-up evaluation. The smaller the baseline pineal glands volume, the more severe the RBD symptoms at baseline. The individuals with isolated rBD showed smaller pineal gland volumes than those without isolated pRBD.

Dr. Ki Woong Kim from The Seoul National University College of Natural Sciences, The Seoul National University Bundang Hospital as well as The Seoul National University College of Medicine said, "Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterized by the loss of normal skeletal muscle atonia during REM sleep and dream-enacting behaviors."

"Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterized by the loss of normal skeletal muscle atonia during REM sleep and dream-enacting behaviors."

RBD can occur in association with (secondary RBD), or without (isolated RBD) a neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson's disease or Lewy body disease. A series of clinical trials found that the symptoms of RBD were improved by N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine (melatonin).

In RBD patients, dream-enacting behaviors were reduced and REM sleep muscle atonia were restored by the administration of melatonin. Melatonin is a multifunctioning indoleamine produced by the pineal gland, which regulates sleep and circadian rhythm through its production and synthesis. VPG may predict the risk of developing RBD; they investigated the association of VPG with current RBD symptoms cross-sectionally and with the future risk prospectively in cognitively normal individuals without neurological or psychiatric disorders.

Figure 2. (A) Diagnostic accuracy for prevalent probable REM sleep behavior disorder (pRBD) at the baseline evaluation and (B) predictive accuracy for incident pRBD at the 2-year follow-up evaluation of the baseline pineal parenchyma volume (VPP, mm3) and pineal gland volume (VPG, mm3). Abbreviations: AUC = area under the receiver operator characteristic curve; CI = confidence intervals.

The Kim Research Team concluded in their Aging-US Research Output, "the smaller pineal gland was associated with the more current RBD symptoms and the higher future risk of RBD in cognitively normal elderly individuals, and VPP or VPG may be a candidate biomarker of RBD."

Full Text - https://www.aging-us.com/article/102661/text

Correspondence to: Ki Woong Kim email: kwkimmd@snu.ac.kr

Keywords: pineal gland, RBD, MRI, aging, prospective

About Aging-US

Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research as well as topics beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, cancer, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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