Nightmares may lead to dementia, study

Nightmares may lead to dementia, study

Birmingham: People who experience nightmares in middle age are more likely to develop dementia later in life, a new study has revealed.

A new study from the University of Birmingham, published in The Lancet journal KE e Clinical Medicine, found that people develop nightmares years or decades before they develop dementia.

Dr Abidemi Otaiku, from the University of Birmingham, said the research was the first to show that in healthy people, having disturbing dreams or nightmares could be linked to an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

He said this is important because there are very few indicators of dementia in middle age. While more research is needed to confirm these relationships, the researchers believe that nightmares may be a useful way to diagnose dementia in people and to develop strategies early in the course of the disease.

In the research, Dr. Ataiko reviewed data from volunteers from three communities in the United States. These volunteers included 600 men and women between the ages of 35 and 64, and 2,600 people aged 79 and older.

No one had dementia at the start of the study. The younger group was followed up for an average of nine years, while the older participants were followed for five years.

Data was collected between 2002 and 2012 in this study. During this time, the participants filled out a series of questionnaires asking these individuals questions about their nightmares.

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