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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. RBD also defines more severe forms of alpha-synucleinopathies. The genetic background of RBD and its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we performed the first genome-wide association study of RBD, identifying five RBD risk loci. Expression analyses highlight SNCA-AS1 and SCARB2 differential expression in different brain regions in RBD, with SNCA-AS1 further supported by colocalization analyses. Genetic risk score and other analyses provide further insights into RBD genetics, highlighting RBD as a unique subpopulation that will allow future early intervention.

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