Abnormal activation of motor cortical network during phasic REM sleep in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder

Jun Sang Sunwoo, Kwang Su Cha, Jung Ick Byun, Tae Joon Kim, Jin Sun Jun, Jung Ah Lim, Soon Tae Lee, Keun Hwa Jung, Kyung Il Park, Kon Chu, Han Joon Kim, Manho Kim, Sang Kun Lee, Kyung Hwan Kim, Carlos H. Schenck, Ki Young Jung

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives We investigated electroencephalography (EEG) power spectral density and functional connectivity during phasic and tonic rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and examined any differences between patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and controls. Methods EEG data from 13 people with iRBD (mean age, 66.3 years; men, 84.6%) and 10 controls (mean age, 62.3 years; men, 70%) were analyzed. We selected thirty 3 s miniepochs of both tonic and phasic REM sleep. We estimated relative power for six frequency bands. For functional connectivity analysis, we calculated weighted phase lag index (wPLI) and conducted pairwise comparisons between the two groups. Results EEG power spectral analysis revealed significant interactions between the REM sleep state (phasic vs. tonic) and group at sigma (p = 0.009) and beta (p = 0.002) bands. Sigma- and beta-power decrease during phasic REM sleep was more pronounced and extensive in people with iRBD than in controls. Regarding functional connectivity, there were significant interactions between the REM sleep state and group at alpha (p = 0.029), sigma (p = 0.047), beta (p = 0.015), and gamma (p = 0.046) bands. The average wPLI was significantly higher during phasic REM sleep than during tonic REM sleep, which was observed in people with iRBD but not in controls. The altered functional connections mainly involved the frontal and parietal regions at beta and gamma bands. Conclusions Our findings provide neurophysiological evidence for pathological motor cortex activation during phasic REM sleep which may be associated with generation of dream-enacting behaviors in iRBD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsy227
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning (No. NRF-2014R1A2A2A04003858; 2017M3C7A1029485; 2017R1A2B2012280; 2016R1D1A1B03934722) and the Ministry of Education (No. NRF-2017R1D1A1B04035931). Conflict of interest statement. None declared.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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