Neurophysiological evaluation of visual function in iRBD: potential role in stratifying RBD conversion risk

Michele Terzaghi, Alfredo Romani, Marina Ranzani, Roberto Callieco, Federica Avantaggiato, Riccardo Cremascoli, Marta Picascia, Laura Pilati, Dario Arnaldi, Valter Rustioni, Ivana Sartori, Roberta Zangaglia, Claudio Pacchetti, Silvia Colnaghi, Maurizio Versino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objectives: To evaluate neurophysiological alterations of visual function in idiopathic REM sleep Behavior Disorder (iRBD) both as markers and predictors of neurodegenerative disorders. Methods: In a longitudinal follow-up study of 46 consecutive iRBD patients (follow-up duration 8.4 ± 3.4 years), the baseline parameters in luminance-contrast pattern (VEPp), red-green color (VEPc) and motion-onset (VEPm) Visual Evoked Potentials in iRBD were compared to early (ePD) and advanced (aPD) Parkinson's Disease subjects. Parameters of latency and amplitude of iRBD converters to neurodegenerative disease were compared with those of the non-converters. Results: The VEP P100 mean latency values for both eyes and for both stimulation checks (30′ and 15’) were significantly longer in all the three groups of patients as compared to controls; moreover latencies were longer in aPD than in the iRBD group who did not differ from the ePD group. The same held true when we analyzed the number of abnormal subjects belonging to each diagnostic group with a higher number of abnormal subjects in the aPD group compared to both the ePD and in iRBD groups. Chromatic and motion potentials were not different from controls and did not differ in the 3 diagnostic groups. The iRBD subjects who converted to a neurodegenerative disorder showed longer P100 latencies and a higher occurrence of VEPp abnormalities than those who did not convert. Again chromatic and motion VEPs were not different depending on conversion. Conclusions: In iRBD patients the detection of an abnormal VEPp should be considered as a red flag for possible synnucleinopathy, eventually contributing in stratifying the risk of phenoconversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Evoked potentials
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Neurophysiology
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Phenoconversion risk
  • REM sleep Behavior disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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