Sleep Behaviours Linked to Brain Disorders

Friday 30th July 2010

People who kick or lash out during sleep could be at an increased risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s disease, according to new research. The new report, published in the journal Neurology, also showed that the rapid eye movement and brain activity of sleepers who kicked or lashed out during sleep dramatically varied from their peacefully sleeping counterparts. Researchers hope that spotting the sleep behaviours could help to signal brain disorders decades before symptoms manifest.

Experts explain that jerking movements during deep stages of sleep could alert physicians to a patient’s increased risk of dementia or Parkinson’s as most people are unable to move during REM sleep as the brain paralyses the body’s muscles.  

The Alzheimer’s Society has called for further research that will investigate the link between brain disorders and sleep. Researchers hope that their findings could help doctors to predict brain disorders up to 50 years before symptoms manifest.


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