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Recurring Nightmares Can Up The Risk Of Developing Dementia, Says Experts

Recurring Nightmares Can Up The Risk Of Developing Dementia, Says Experts

Do you experience recurring nightmares? Know what experts say about the link between dementia and nightmares.

Written by Kinkini Gupta |Published : September 30, 2022 7:37 PM IST

Research shows that every person spends almost 6 years of their life dreaming. Not all of these dreams are however good or happy. The explanation regarding why people experience good and bad dreams is unclear. But, experts say that nightmares could exacerbate the risk of developing dementia later in life. Experts have conducted a new study regarding this and they have established a link between dementia and distressing dreams or nightmares. distressing dreams, or nightmares, can be linked to dementia risk and cognitive decline among healthy adults in the general population.

Dementia is a indeed a baffling diseases to which experts still have not been able to find a permanent cure. The symptoms are also difficult to trace and in some cases only visible when it is too late. They have however found a lot of ways to prevent the disease or slow its progression. As many as 4.4 million people in India are expected to be living with dementia, and this number comprises mostly the elderly.

What Experts Say About The Link Between Nightmares And Dementia

The results of the research was that middle-aged people between 35 and 64 who experienced nightmares weekly were four times more likely to experience a decline in their cognitive abilities over the next 10 years. For the other cohort of people above 90 years, increased nightmares meant they were twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia. To put it simply: nightmares can signal memory loss and thinking impairments years, even decades, before they become apparent.

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Bad dreams are preventable and even treatable in some cases. And previous experiments showed that when nightmares reduced, there was a boost in people's memory and thinking skills. In some cases, treatment for nightmares also decreased the prevalence of a protein that was linked to Alzheimer's disease, another form of dementia.

Another explanation is that bad dreams and poor sleep quality could be a causative factor behind dementia itself. Previous research has linked vivid dreaming, sleep disorders, restless legs syndrome, and nightmares with Lewy body dementia (the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's) - one type of cognitive decline.

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