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 Sleep disturbances and irregular heartbeat 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:00 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Washington state
Post Sleep disturbances and irregular heartbeat
My 95 (!) year old father may have LBD , he has many of the symptoms but he has not been given the diagnosis yet. He is resisting my suggestions that he see a geriantologist or neurologist.
Anyway, his primary problem is that he is waking up, almost every night for the last two weeks with an extremely irregular heart beat. He has made two visits to the ER, and one that I talked him out of because by the time he called me it had already stabilized. ER and his cardiologist say there is nothing wrong with his heart....his medications have been reviewed many times over.
I read a lot about REM sleep disturbances with LBD, but that's not him, he doesn't thrash or move around, just the waking up from a disturbing dream and his heart is skipping in a frightening manner and doesn't calm down for quite awhile.
Has anyone else noticed this symptom? Thanks in advance for your time.

Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:00 am
Hi Max,
I am glad that you came back again, the question you are asking is hard to answer and even more so not being sure of DX, but I would think the sleep disorder is what is causing the problems.
Here is something I pulled off the LBDA website and maybe a possibility and if this is what is happening I am sure it is freightning to him, God Bless him at 95 yrs old, Good luck to you!

Recurrent visual hallucinations are very common in LBD. REM (rapid
eye movement) sleep behavioral disorder (RBD) is also a supporting
feature common to many with LBD. If your Father is "waking up" at
night with hallucinations, RBD may be the reason. Normally our brains
provide us with a skeletal muscle atonia during REM sleep that causes
our muscles to be in a relaxed state while we dream. When a LBD
patient with RBD has a dream, their bodies may thrash about or act out
their dreams in their sleep because their brain is not providing a
necessary "paralysis" to keep the body still while dreaming. The more
violent the dream, the more active our loved one reacts. They may even
"wake up" and still continue their dream that seems very real to them.

Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:11 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)

Get your father in for a sleep study ASAP! During the sleep study they will have an EKG hooked up to his heart so that they can monitor this.


Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:43 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:00 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Washington state
Thank you everyone. He's having trouble getting a call back from his doctors about his sleep study, I hope it will be scheduled within a week. He still lives alone at home and insists on being quite independent. He has mild to moderate cognitive impairment so when he says there's problems with things I don't know if he's part of the problem or not. Anyway, I hope the sleep study will solve the immediate problem.

Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:40 am
Hi Max,
I am so glad that a sleep study is in the works I think you will get many answers from the results, Keep us posted.

Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:45 am
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