Jump to content

Slashdot - Bad Dreams in Middle Age Could Be Sign of Dementia Risk, Study Suggests


Recommended Posts

People who experience frequent bad dreams in middle age may experience a faster rate of cognitive decline and be at higher risk of dementia as they get older, data suggests. If confirmed, the research could eventually lead to new ways of screening for dementia and intervention to slow the rate of decline. From a report: Most people experience bad dreams from time to time, but approximately 5% of adults experience nightmares -- dreams distressing enough to wake them up -- at least once a week. Stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation are all potential triggers, but previous research in people with Parkinson's disease has also linked frequent distressing dreams to faster rates of cognitive decline, and an increased risk of developing dementia in the future. To investigate whether the same might be true of healthy adults, Dr Abidemi Otaiku at the University of Birmingham turned to data from three previous studies that have examined people's sleep quality and then followed them over many years, assessing their brain health as well as other outcomes. This included more than 600 middle-aged adults (aged 35 to 64), and 2,600 people aged 79 and older. Their data was analysed using statistical software to find out whether those who experienced a higher frequency of distressing dreams were more likely to go on to experience cognitive decline and be diagnosed with dementia. The research, published in eClinicalMedicine, found that middle-aged people who experienced bad dreams at least once a week were four times more likely to experience cognitive decline over the following decade than those who rarely had nightmares. Among elderly participants, those who frequently reported distressing dreams were twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia in subsequent years.

twitter_icon_large.png facebook_icon_large.png

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...