health day reporter
WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Nightmares can be unsettling for anyone, but new research from the UK suggests that bad dreams can signal the start of Parkinson’s disease in some older people.
“Although it can be really beneficial to diagnose Parkinson’s disease early, there are very few risk indicators and many of them require expensive hospital tests or are very common and non-specific, such as diabetes,” explained study author Abidemi Otaiku, from the University of Birmingham. Center for Human Brain Health.
“Although we need to conduct further research in this area, identifying the importance of bad dreams and nightmares may indicate that people who experience changes in their dreams in old age – without any obvious triggers – should see a doctor,” Otaiku said. in a university press release.
In the study, Otaiku’s team analyzed data from more than 3,800 older men in the United States who participated in a 12-year study. At the start of this study, the men provided a wide range of information, including details about their sleep.
There were 91 cases of Parkinson’s disease diagnosed in men during the study period. Those who reported frequent bad dreams/nightmares at the start of the study were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as those who did not have disturbing dreams.
Most diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease were made during the first five years of the study, and men having nightmares during this time had a three times higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The results suggest that bad dreams/nightmares may occur in older people a few years before they develop typical symptoms. symptoms of parkinson’s disease like tremors, stiffness and slow movements, according to the authors.
The study was published June 7 in the journal eClinicalMedicine.
While previous studies have shown that people with Parkinson’s disease have more bad dreams/nightmares than those without the disease, using this as a risk indicator for Parkinson’s disease does not had not previously been considered by the experts.
The authors said their study also shows that dreams can reveal important information about brain structure and function, and could prove to be an important area for neuroscience research.
They plan to confirm these findings in larger and more diverse groups of people, and also to examine possible links between dreams and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, check out the Parkinson’s Foundation.
SOURCE: University of Birmingham, press release, June 7, 2022