Sleep gives brain disease warning

Physically “acting out” dreams when asleep could be an early warning sign of dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

Canadian researchers studied 93 people with “REM sleep behaviour disorder“, which can involve punching or kicking out while dreaming.

The Neurology study found more than a quarter were diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition over the next five years.

UK experts said the research could help doctors predict the condition.

Normally, during “Rapid Eye Movement”, or “REM” sleep, our muscles relax and do not move, but people with certain sleep disorders are able to lash out, or cry out.

It is a known symptom of some kinds of brain disease, including Parkinson’s disease, and a rare form of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

As always, you must read the article for all the ifs, ands and buts. And don’t get too paranoid. I myself, on one occasion I know of, cried out in my sleep [I thought I was falling], and on another occasion I kicked so hard that I killed my toe hitting a piece of furniture nearby. [I was dreaming that I was down on the floor and was kicking up at an attacker.] Both of these occurrences were quite a few years ago.

4 thoughts on “Sleep gives brain disease warning

  1. Cinaedh says:

    I am so screwed!

    First the sleep clinic told me I didn’t experience any REM sleep at all when they tested me, then they told me I stopped breathing multiple times per hour, then they told me the endless leg spasms were something stupid called restless leg syndrome, which no other doctors seem to believe in and now I find out I have a really excellent chance of ending up with dementia because I fight invisible assailants all night.

    Is there any more good news from the medical profession? I’m really looking forward to it.

  2. moss says:

    Did they say anything about sleep apnea. Because all those symptoms vanished when I hooked up with a CPAP machine. I sleep like a fracking stone, now.

  3. Cinaedh says:

    I used a CPAP machine for several years, thanks for the suggestion, moss. It worked OK. Prior to the CPAP, I was ‘waking’ 27 times an hour.

    Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be capable of sleeping like a fracking stone under any circumstances. Only the truly innocent can sleep like a fracking stone, I guess.

    Still, due to other problems I lost a lot of weight and possibly because of the weight loss and my much smaller physical size these days, I’ve discovered I don’t need the CPAP machine any more.

    Silver lining, neh?

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