Alex Iranzo

The isolated form of REM sleep behavior disorder as an opportunity for a neuroprotective intervention

Alex Iranzo, MD, PhD (Spain)
Senior Consultant, Neurology Service Multidisciplinary Sleep Unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona
Associate Professor
University of Barcelona School of Medicine, Spain


Keynote Summary: There is solid evidence that isolated REM sleep behavior disorder (IRBD) represents in most if not all patients an early manifestation of the synucleinopathies Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Most patients with IRBD show the presence of synuclein in the cerebrospinal fluid and with lesser frequency in the peripheral organs. In IRBD, abnormal DAT-SPECT and hyposmia are associated with an increased short term to develop dementia and parkinsonism. There is a need to implement a neuroprotective clinical trial in IRBD to prevent the onset of parkinsonism and dementia, perhaps using DAT-SPECT and smell as biomarkers of progressive neurodegeneration and targeting synuclein with immunotherapy against the propagation of this protein in the brain.


Biosketch: Alex Iranzo graduated in Medicine and Neurology and defended his PhD thesis at the Universidad de Barcelona, Spain. Presently, he is senior consultant at the Neurology Service and the Multidisciplinary Sleep Unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. He is Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona School of Medicine and an investigator of August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) and Biomedical Research Networking Center on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED). He is currently president of the Spanish Sleep Society and a former member of the scientific committees of the European Sleep Research Society and Spanish Neurology Society.


Dr. Iranzo has widely published as both first and corresponding author in peer reviewed journals such as The Lancet, The Lancet Neurology (seven times), Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Movement Disorders, Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, Sleep, and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Iranzo’s research has focused on sleep in neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, anti-IgLON5 disease, REM sleep behaviour disorder, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome.