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Rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD), enactment of dreams during REM sleep, is an early clinical symptom of alpha-synucleinopathies and defines a more severe subtype. The genetic background of RBD and its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we perform a genome-wide association study of RBD, identifying five RBD risk loci near SNCA, GBA, TMEM175, INPP5F, and SCARB2. Expression analyses highlight SNCA-AS1 and potentially SCARB2 differential expression in different brain regions in RBD, with SNCA-AS1 further supported by colocalization analyses. Polygenic risk score, pathway analysis, and genetic correlations provide further insights into RBD genetics, highlighting RBD as a unique alpha-synucleinopathy subpopulation that will allow future early intervention.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Humans, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Genome-Wide Association Study, Parkinson Disease, Synucleinopathies, Brain