Rotigotine may improve sleep architecture in Parkinson's disease: A double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled polysomnographic study

Mariangela Pierantozzi, Fabio Placidi, Claudio Liguori, Maria Albanese, Paola Imbriani, Maria Grazia Marciani, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Paolo Stanzione, Alessandro Stefani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives: Growing evidence demonstrates that in Parkinson's Disease (PD) sleep disturbances are frequent and difficult to treat. Since the efficacy of rotigotine on sleep is corroborated by studies lacking polysomnography (PSG), this study explores the possible rotigotine-mediated impact on PSG parameters in PD patients. Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to determine the efficacy of rotigotine vs placebo on PSG parameters in moderately advanced PD patients. An unusual protocol was utilized, since patches were maintained from 18:00 h to awakening, minimizing the possible diurnal impact on motor symptoms. All participants underwent sleep PSG recordings, subjective sleep questionnaires (Parkinson Disease Sleep Scale [PDSS], Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]), and the assessment of early-morning motor disability. Results: We evaluated 42 PD patients (Hoehn & Yahr stages 2 and 3) with sleep impairment randomly assigned to active branch (N =21) or placebo (N = 21). Rotigotine significantly increased sleep efficiency and reduced both wakefulness after sleep onset and sleep latency compared to placebo. Moreover, the mean change in REM sleep quantity was significantly higher in the rotigotine than placebo group. The improvement of PSG parameters corresponded to the amelioration of PDSS and PSQI scores together with the improvement of patient morning motor symptoms. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the significant effect of rotigotine on sleep quality and continuity in PD patients by promoting sleep stability and increasing REM. The effectiveness of rotigotine on sleep may be ascribed to its pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile directly on both D1 and D2 receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Polysomnography
  • REM
  • Rotigotine
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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