Brussels, Belgium, March 19, 2010 (ots/PRNewswire) - Patients with
neurological diseases need more help with their associated sleep-wake
disturbances that can often make their underlying illness worse, say
leading sleep specialists attending a sleep meeting hosted by
biopharmaceutical company, UCB, to mark World Sleep Day.
@@start.t1@@ A growing body of evidence to be discussed at the meeting shows that:
- Disturbed sleep is a common problem for people with Parkinson's
- One in three people with Parkinson's disease suffer from excessive
- Over 80% of people with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) have sudden
uncontrolled limb movements while they are asleep(3) - leading to
disturbed sleep for them and their partners
- 99% of fibromyalgia patients have sleep problems, resulting in worse
pain and fatigue and reduced ability to lead a normal life(4)
- People with epilepsy who do not get enough sleep are more likely to
- Epilepsy patients find it harder to get to sleep and are more likely to
wake during the night than those who do not have epilepsy(5)
- Stroke patients often have sleep-wake disturbances, which affect the
course and outcome of stroke(6)@@end@@
"Sleep-wake disturbances can in fact represent the first
manifestation of an underlying neurological disorder, for example
Parkinson's disease, but can also influence the course and outcome of
a known neurological disorder, for example epilepsy and stroke,"
explains meeting chairman, Professor Claudio Bassetti, President of
the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) and Scientific Director of
the European Neurological Society (ENS). "As clinicians and
researchers, we must address all aspects of our patients' illness,
including their related sleep-wake problems."
New published research suggests that narcolepsy is an autoimmune
New research to be discussed at the meeting suggests that the
excessive daytime sleepiness disorder, narcolepsy, is an autoimmune
Recently published research shows that people with narcolepsy
have elevated levels of an immune factor called Trib2-specific
antibody(7). This antibody attacks important cells in the brain that
produce hypocretins - hormonal peptides that regulate sleep and
"This is the first research to show that Trib2-specific
antibodies target hypocretin neurones and it suggests that narcolepsy
is an autoimmune disease. We also have preliminary data to suggest
that people with early narcolepsy and high levels of Trib2-specific
antibodies may benefit from immunotherapy to block the autoimmune
process," explains one of the researchers, Professor Mehdi Tafti,
from the Center for Investigation and Research in Sleep at the Centre
Hospitalouniversitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Patients highlight the impact of poor sleep on their underlying
Patients who are speaking at the meeting stress the impact of
poor sleep on their underlying neurological disease.
"Before I developed Parkinson's disease, I enjoyed seven or eight
hours sleep every night, but now I rarely get more than five hours
and, on a bad night, I wake up every hour or so. As a result, I am
tired all day, and fall asleep at the drop of a hat. People think
it's funny, but it makes it hard for me to be independent, which is
just about the most important thing for someone with a chronic
illness like mine," says Sheila from the UK.
"I had seizures in my sleep, which not only woke me up but left
me tired and forgetful during the day. When I became menopausal, I
developed severe insomnia, which made my seizures worse. Fortunately,
I have now found medication that has decreased my seizures and
enabled me to sleep better, so I can concentrate during the day and
start to live my dreams again," explains Monica from the Netherlands.
"I've had restless legs syndrome nearly all my life and, as a
result, I've had a lot of sleepless nights. Not being able to sleep
makes the pains in my legs and feet and other RLS symptoms worse
during the following 24 hours and I can find it hard to concentrate
at work. Only when I spent a night in a sleep laboratory could my
doctors see just how badly I was sleeping, and with their help I
began to find ways to improve my symptoms," says Sten from Sweden.
About World Sleep Day(8)
World Sleep Day is an international annual event, intended to be
a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues
related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and
driving. It aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society
through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. World
Sleep Day 2010 is being held on March 19th, under the slogan "Sleep
Well, Stay Healthy".
This marks the third World Sleep Day event organized by the World
Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).
As a committed sponsor of World Sleep Day, UCB is supporting the
WASM in its aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society
through better prevention and management of these disorders.
About the 1st European Narcolepsy Day
Europe's first Narcolepsy Day was held on March 18th 2010 as an
initiative of the European Narcolepsy Network and under the patronage
of the European Sleep Research Society.
About Restless Legs Syndrome, narcolepsy, Parkinson's disease
(PD) and epilepsy(9)
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder
characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an
uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve
these feelings. RLS sensations are often described by people as
burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs.
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the
brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. At various
times throughout the day, people with narcolepsy experience
irresistible bouts of sleep. If the urge becomes overwhelming,
individuals will fall asleep for periods lasting from a few seconds
to several minutes.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting in
the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms
of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face;
rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or
slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which clusters of
nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. In
epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed,
causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes
convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated
to the research, development and commercialization of innovative
medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system and
immunology disorders. Employing more than 9 000 people in over 40
countries, UCB produced revenue of EUR 3.1 billion in 2009. UCB is
listed on Euronext Brussels .
Forward looking statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on
current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements
are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results
to be materially different from those that may be implied by such
forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important
factors that could result in such differences include: changes in
general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of
future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate
fluctuations and hiring and retention of its employees.
(1). Clarke CE. Parkinson's disease. British Medical Journal 2007; 335;
(2). Arnulf I, Leu-Semenescu S. Sleepiness in Parkinson's disease.
Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009 Dec; 15 Suppl 3:S101-4.
(3). Trenkwalder C, Paulus W, Walters AS. The restless legs syndrome.
Lancet Neurol 2005; 4: 465.
(4). Theadom A, Cropley M, Humphrey KL. Exploring the role of sleep and
coping in quality of life in fibromyalgia. J Psychosom Res. 2007;
(5). Bazil CW. Comprehensive care of the epilepsy patient--control,
comorbidity, and cost. Epilepsia. 2004;45 Suppl 6:3-12.
(6). Hermann DM, Bassetti CL. Sleep-related breathing and sleep-wake
disturbances in ischemic stroke Neurology. 2009; 73:1313-22.
(7). Cvetkovic-Lopes V, Bayer L, Dorsaz S et al. Elevated Tribbles
homolog 2-specific antibody levels in narcolepsy patients. J Clin
Invest. 2010 Feb 15. pii: 41366. doi: 10.1172/JCI41366. 2010 March;
120 (3); 713-719.
(8). http://www.friglobalevents.com/wasmonline/ - [accessed 3rd March
(9). http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ - [accessed 3rd March 2010]@@end@@
ots Originaltext: UCB Pharma
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