A study suggests that adults over 35 who have at least one bad dream per week are four times more likely to experience cognitive decline in old age.
“Middle-aged people who have frequent nightmares may be at risk of accelerated cognitive decline and a higher risk of dementia as they age. any comments.” British daily Guardian so reflectsstudy published on September 21 in eClinical Medicinefor which a neurologist from the University of Birmingham Abidemi Otaiku they looked at data from three research papers.
For this work, the sleep quality and brain health of more than 600 people aged 35 to 64 and 2,600 people over 79 were monitored for several years. The data was then analyzed using statistical software, which showed that people with a higher frequency of anxious dreams were more likely to experience cognitive decline and be diagnosed with dementia.
In his study, the researcher describes in detail:
“Compared to middle-aged people who say they don’t usually have nightmares, people who have nightmares every week have four times the risk of cognitive decline.”
Additionally, among older participants, those who frequently reported bad dreams were twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia in subsequent years.
The mechanisms at work remain to be understood
At this time, there is nothing to explain this association between nightmare frequency and cognitive decline. One suggested clue is that people with nightmarish nightmares are also poor sleepers. Gold from previous studies showed that extended periods of poor quality sleep increased levels of proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Another clue is the existence of a genetic factor that underlies both phenomena at the same time. These hypotheses will require further work.
Abidemi Otaiku’s working hypothesis is that neurodegeneration in the right frontal lobe of the brain makes it difficult to control emotions that turn into nightmares in dreams. In his results – which will have to be confirmed by further studies – he foresees the possibility of early diagnosis of age-related diseases and thus better support for people who are at risk of them. He concludes:[…] Read more about Courrier international
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