REM Sleep Motor Dysfunction in Neurological Diseases

  • Naoko Tachibana


Jouvet and Delorm (1965), firstly described ‘oneiric behaviors’ in experimental cats as the result of discrete lesions in the dorsolateral rostral pons; in the bilateral medial portion of the locus coeruleus alpha, and later Sastre and Jouvet (1979) analyzed correlation of behaviors to sites of the lesions. In these cats muscle atonia was abolished during REM sleep, and they exhibited various behaviors such as exploring, attacking, chasing for something as if they had behaved in their dreams. These behaviors were seen during so-called paradoxical sleep without atonia, but to make consistency, I termed this state as REM sleep without atonia (RWA). Such experimental findings inspired clinical researchers to look for similar phenomenon in humans. Since then abnormal behaviors during abnormal REM sleep or REM sleep-like state in humans had been described until 1986 (Shimizu, Sugita, Iijima, Teshima, and Hishikawa, 1981; Shimizu, 1985; Quera Salva and Guilleminault, 1985; Sforza, Zucconi, Pertonelli, Lugaresi, and Cirignotta, 1985; Schenck, Bundlie, Ettinger, and Mahowald, 1986). Some of the reports clearly discussed the similarity of observed abnormal nocturnal behaviors in humans to ‘oneiric behaviors’ in experimental cats, attributing these behaviors for impairment in suppression of the muscle tonus related to REM sleep.


Multiple System Atrophy Sleep Bruxism Nucleus Reticularis Pontis Oralis Reticularis Pontis Oralis Olivopontocerebellar Degeneration 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoko Tachibana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Brain PathophysiologyKyoto University School of MedicineKyotoJapan

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