Middle-Aged Nightmares Are Connected To Higher Risk Of Dementia

Oct, 2022 - by CMI

For the first time, researchers showed that nightmares, can be connected to dementia risk and cognitive decline in otherwise healthy persons.

As per University of Birmingham research, those who have a lot of terrible nightmares in their middle years are more likely to develop dementia in their later years. This study was published in The Lancet journal, EClinicalMedicine on September 26 th ,2022. Dr. Abidemi Otaiku of the Centre for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham is the study's principal investigator.

Dr. Otaiku evaluated information from three community-based cohorts in the United States for the study. These comprised 2,600 seniors aged 79 and older, as well as more than 600 adult men and women between the ages of 79 and 64. Dementia was not present in any of the patients at the beginning of the trial, and the younger participants were observed for an average of nine years and the older participants for an average of five years. From 2002 to 2012, data for the study were first gathered. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which asks participants how frequently they have disturbing dreams, was among the questionnaires they completed.

This data was analysed using statistical software to determine whether those who had more nightmares had a higher likelihood of developing dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment in the future. Unexpectedly, the study found that the connections between the factors were much stronger for males than for women. A recent study found that those who encounter terrifying dreams at least once a week in middle age are four times more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment in the subsequent 10 years, whereas those who are elderly were twice as probable to get dementia.

The research's next steps would involve examining if nightmares in young people could be linked to a future risk of dementia and whether other dream qualities, such number of times people recall nightmares ,however rather how vivid they are, may also be used to determine a future risk of dementia.