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Bad Old Dreams Possible Early Warning of Parkinson’s – Medicine

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Bad Old Dreams Possible Early Warning of Parkinson’s – Medicine


Frequent bad dreams in the elderly could be an early warning of future Parkinson’s diagnosis. This is suggested by a research coordinated by the University of Birmingham, published in EClinicalMedicine. The study compared 3,818 older men who had independent lives and found that among those who had bad dreams on a regular basis, the chances of having a diagnosis of Parkinson’s in the future were doubled. Most diagnoses occurred in the first five years of the study.

Participants with frequent bad dreams during this period were found to have over three times the odds of developing the disease. The findings suggest that seniors who will one day be diagnosed with Parkinson’s may start having nightmares and bad dreams a few years before they develop characteristic Parkinson’s traits, such as tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement. “More research is needed in this area to understand whether changes in dreams in old age – without any obvious triggers – could be a clue that should lead to seeing a doctor,” said Abidemi Otaiku, lead author of the study. The researchers’ next step will be to study in detail what the biological reasons behind the changes in dreams are and how they can be linked to neurodegenerative diseases.

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