Scientists have found that nightmares can be a sign of a dangerous disease

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Scientists have conducted a study on nightmares

People who have frequent nightmares may experience cognitive decline more quickly.

Dr. Abidemi Otaikou from the University of Birmingham studies the quality of people's sleep. In his study, which is published in eClinicalMedicine , Abidemi Otaikou concluded that middle-aged people who had bad dreams at least once a week were at a higher risk of dementia as they grew older. Among older participants, those who frequently reported disturbing dreams were twice as likely to have dementia in subsequent years.

Anxious dreams predict cognitive decline and dementia from all causes in middle-aged and elderly people without cognitive impairment or Parkinson's disease, especially in men. These findings may help identify individuals at risk for developing dementia and may facilitate early prevention strategies, the study says.

Abidemi Otaikou drew on data from three previous studies of people's dreams that were followed over many years.

The data were analyzed using statistical software. The goal is to find out if those who had more disturbing dreams had cognitive decline and diagnosed dementia, the scientist said.

Otaikou's hypothesis is that neurodegeneration in the right frontal lobe of the brain makes it difficult to control emotions during sleep, which in turn leads to nightmares.

We know that neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's often begin many years before diagnosis. Nightmares can be one of the earliest signs, Abidemi Otaikou said.

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