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Acting out dreams may point to dementia

20-06-2013

If you act out your dreams then this may be a sign of dementia on the horizon. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that having a condition known as REM sleep behaviour disorder, which means that you physically act out your dreams, could be a sign that you will suffer from Lewy body dementia later on in life.

The Lewy bodies are clumps of a protein that accumulates in various of the brain and are involved in thinking and movement. The condition Lewy body dementia is marked by cognitive fluctuations, motor deficits, and hallucinations. According to the researchers at Mayo Clinic, Lewy body dementia, or LBD, can be thought of as on the spectrum between Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.  This is recent research and is not conclusive, but obviously for anyone who has REM sleep behaviour disorder this is of concern.

The study found that people with Lewy body dementia were five times more likely to have suffered REM sleep behaviour disorder during their life than the control group. The reason for this connection may be because certain areas in the brainstem that  involved in sleep are particularly vulnerable to Lewy bodies and begin to accumulate the proteins before other areas of the brain are affected.


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