Recurrent nightmares are the first sign of Parkinson’s disease, especially in the elderly, according to a new study.
Painful dreams have long been associated with neurological disease, especially in men, but the study was published in the journal “E Medical MedicineThis is the first time that dreams have been confirmed as a warning sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers who have monitored the health of 3,818-year-old men for 12 years have found that people who experience frequent nightmares are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
Most diagnoses occurred within the first five years of the study.
The results suggest that older adults may be screened for Parkinson’s disease by asking about the content of their dreams. Early intervention can be done to prevent the possible onset of physical symptoms such as tremors, stiffness and lethargy.
Early diagnosis is one of the biggest challenges of Parkinson’s disease. By the time of diagnosis, most patients have already lost 60 to 80 percent of the dopamine-releasing neurons in the brainstem.
A previous study by the same researcher found that patients with nightmares were five times more likely to show rapid disease progression.
“Although early detection of Parkinson’s disease is really helpful, there are very few risk indicators that require expensive or very common and insignificant hospital tests,” explains Abidemi Otigo, a neurologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Such as diabetes.
New research suggests that those who experience nightmare changes should seek medical advice.
Nearly a quarter of Parkinson’s patients report having recurrent nightmares during diagnosis, and some have nightmares for up to 10 years before diagnosis.
Parkinson’s patients are more likely to develop REM sleep disorders.
In the study, participants who reported frequent nightmares were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease over a 12-year period.
One hypothesis of the study is that late onset of dreams is an early sign of neuropathy in some men.
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