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Ethical Considerations in REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Vertrees, Stephanie MD; Greenough, Glen P. MD, FAASM

CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology:
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000427223.22963.d4
Ethical Perspectives

ABSTRACT: A patient diagnosed with REM behavior sleep disorder (RBD) has as much as a 65% risk of developing an α-synucleinopathy. Currently, it is not possible to predict whether an individual will develop a disease, or, if so, which disease.The neurologist treating the patient must consider (1) the difference between disclosing a diagnosis and disclosing the risk of a diagnosis; (2) whether to disclose this risk to patients; and (3) if deciding to disclose the risk, the appropriate timing of such a conversation.

Author Information

Address correspondence to Dr Stephanie Vertrees, Austin Neurology and Sleep Associates, 711-E1 West 38th St, Austin, TX 78705,

Relationship Disclosure: Dr Vertrees reports no disclosure. Dr Greenough has received a grant from Dartmouth Center for Clinical and Translational Science Pilot and Collaborative Studies Program.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Drs Vertrees and Greenough report no disclosures.

© 2013 American Academy of Neurology