Early sign of dementia may keep you awake at night

(ORDO NEWS) — Dementia wants to be predicted as early as possible so that there is a chance to fight it. Fortunately, there is one sign that allows you to do this.

Dementia may come as a surprise to most, but scientists have shown that there is one symptom that can indicate the risk of developing it.

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. And a quarter of our sleep time we dream. For the average person living in 2022, with a life expectancy of around 73 years, that means they’ve been dreaming for just over six years.

However, given the important role that dreams play in our lives, we still know so little about why we dream, how the brain creates them, and, importantly, what significance our dreams can have for our health.

Earliest sign of dementia

In particular, the work shows that a high incidence of bad dreams and nightmares (bad dreams that wake you up) in middle or older age may be associated with an increased risk of dementia.

In the study, the authors analyzed data from three large US health and aging studies. More than 600 people aged 35 to 64 and 2,600 people aged 79 and over took part in them.

All participants were free of dementia at baseline and were followed for an average of nine years for the middle age group and five years for older participants.

At the beginning of the study (2002-2012), participants completed a series of questionnaires, including one that asked how often they had bad dreams and nightmares.

The authors analyzed the data and found that middle-aged participants who had nightmares every week were four times more likely to be diagnosed with cognitive decline (a precursor to dementia) over the next decade, while older participants were twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

Interestingly, the link between nightmares and future dementia was much stronger in men than in women.


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