John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Insomnia comorbid to Parkinson's disease Part II: Therapeutic approaches Volume 18, issue 3, Septembre 2020

Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, Univ Montpellier, EPSYLON EA 4556, Montpellier, France
* Correspondance

Insomnia disorder is four times more frequent in Parkinson's disease (PD) than in the general population. In PD, insomnia is associated with a very significant decrease in quality of life and deleterious consequences on both patients and caregivers’ health. The main therapeutic option in response to insomnia comorbid to PD is the prescription of benzodiazepines or related drugs. As in the general population, these sedative-hypnotic molecules have very low efficacy in PD and are associated with adverse effects. They are highly addictive and are also associated with drowsiness, risk of falling and decreased life expectancy. These side effects may in themselves be symptoms associated with PD in the absence of insomnia. In this clinical context, we can easily conceive that sedative-hypnotics are likely to potentiate these clinical symptoms in PD. We have recently documented that insomnia disorder comorbid to PD is associated with the classical psychological factors perpetuating insomnia in neurological disease-free individuals with insomnia. These results have allowed us to emphasize that target-oriented interventions for instance cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia (CBT-i) should be considered as a treatment approach for insomnia disorder comorbid to PD. As a reminder, for decades, CBT-i is considered the most effective first-line treatment for the management of chronic insomnia associated or not with comorbidity. In this context, we demonstrated the acceptability of CBT-i in the treatment of insomnia comorbid to PD and its effectiveness for the management of night and daytime symptoms of insomnia associated with this neurological condition. The objective of this synthesis is to raise awareness among health professionals of the relevance of psychological therapies (mostly CBT) for insomnia in PD. Unlike drug treatments, these therapies are safety for patients who are already weakened by the PD itself.