Researchers Find Connection Between Onset Of Dementia And Nightmares

If you experience regular nightmares during middle age, there is a risk of being diagnosed with cognitive decline and dementia later in life, according to a new study. University of Birmingham researchers collected data from more than 600 individuals aged 35-64 years and 2,600 individuals above 79 between 2002 and 2012. 

According to the study titled “Distressing Dreams, Cognitive Decline, and Risk of Dementia: A Prospective Study of Three Population-Based Cohorts”, published in the clinical medicine journal, nightmares are common years before the onset of dementia. 

Around 40% of dementia cases are preventable. 

The CDC indicates that Alzheimer’s and dementia are inevitable as one ages. However, according to the CDC, around 40% of dementia cases are preventable or can be delayed by understanding the atypical and normal signs of brain health.

The typical symptoms of dementia include the inability to accomplish things without help, having trouble naming objects or members of one’s immediate family, forgetting how something works, and asking questions repeatedly. Others include taking longer to accomplish daily tasks, losing things, and the inability to trace back steps or becoming lost.

Nightmares in middle age could be an indication of dementia later in life 

Interestingly, the current study authors have found a new dementia symptom that manifests before the onset of dementia symptoms. The University’s Center for Human Brain Health’s Dr Abidemi Otaiku said that they have shown that nightmares or distressing dreams are associated with the risk o cognitive decline and dementia among healthy individuals. 

Otaku said that the findings are significant since there are some aspects of dementia that can be observed in middle age. However, there is a need for more studies to confirm the findings. 

Surprisingly the connection between dementia and nightmares tends to be stronger in men than women. According to study findings, men between 35 and 64 who experience nightmares are four times more likely to experience cognitive decline within ten years, and older adults are twice as likely to have dementia. 

According to the study, older men who experience nightmares more than once a week are five times more likely to acquire dementia than men who don’t experience nightmares.

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