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Here’s the connection between nightmares and Parkinson’s disease

Here's the connection between nightmares and Parkinson's disease

Here’s the connection between nightmares and Parkinson’s disease. A degenerative brain condition is referred to as Parkinson’s disease. It is an age-related ailment that causes areas of your brain to degrade. It is most well-known for its ability to cause slowness of movement, tremors, trouble with balance and other symptoms. This will be treated under the following.


  • An Overview of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Symptoms and causes
  • Nightmares
  • Connection between nightmares and Parkinson’s disease
  • Study showing the connection between nightmares and Parkinson’s disease

The majority of cases are caused by unknown factors. However, some are hereditary, and even though the illness can’t be cured, there are many different ways to treat it.

The likelihood of having Parkinson’s disease is known to naturally increase with advancing age. 60 years of age is the typical onset age for the condition.

There is a somewhat greater incidence in males or individuals designated as male at birth (DMAB) than there is in females or people designated as female at birth (DFAB).

A connection between age, nightmares and Parkinson’s disease

In most cases, Parkinson’s disease is associated with advancing age; nevertheless, it can strike people as young as 20. (though this is extremely rare, and often people have a parent, full sibling or child with the same condition).

Within the category of age-related degenerative brain illnesses, Parkinson’s disease holds the position of second most prevalent overall. In addition to this, it is the most frequent illness of the motor (motion-related) brain. It affects at least 1% of people in the world who are 60 or older. This is according to estimates provided by various experts.

The basal ganglia in the brain of a person with Parkinson’s disease deteriorate over time as a result of the condition. You will no longer have influence over the skills that were formerly associated with this area as it continues to degrade. Researchers have found that Parkinson’s disease is linked to a major change in the way the brain’s chemicals work.

Your brain employs chemicals that are known as neurotransmitters. This is in order to manage the manner in which your brain cells (neurons) interact with one another when conditions are normal.

When you have Parkinson’s disease, your body doesn’t make enough dopamine, which is one of the most important neurotransmitters.

When your brain sends activation signals to your muscles, telling them to move, it also uses cells in your body that are dependent on dopamine to fine-tune your motions. Parkinson’s disease causes tremors and slow movement, which are both caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease tend to worsen and become more widespread as the disease advances. The latter stages of the disease frequently have an effect on how the brain operates. This leads to symptoms similar to dementia as well as sadness.

It is possible for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to worsen over time. It may become increasingly challenging to carry out activities of daily living without assistance as the illness worsens.

Most patients respond well to therapy and have only mild-to-moderate impairments. However, a small number of patients may not respond as well and may, over time, develop more severe impairments.

Parkinson’s disease cannot directly cause people to pass away. Nonetheless, the illness does impose a significant burden on the body. It can make certain people more susceptible to dangerous infections that could ultimately prove fatal.

Nightmares linked to Parkinson’s disease

Having nightmares more often is linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in older men. This is according to the results of this study.

According to a news release that was distributed by the University of Birmingham on Tuesday, a recent study found that experiencing nightmares may be an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease. This revelation comes as if having nightmares was not already a serious enough problem.

Parkinson’s disease is twice as likely to happen to older men who have had nightmares.

It has been shown that older men who have recurring nightmares are at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in the future. This risk is increased by a factor of two. This new study is the first one to use nightmares as a risk indicator for Parkinson’s disease.

Although it has already been established that people with Parkinson’s disease experience nightmares and bad dreams more frequently than adults in the general population, this new study is the first one to use nightmares as an indicator of risk for the disease.


It can be really beneficial to diagnose early Parkinson’s disease. However, there are very few risk indicators, and many of these require expensive hospital tests or are very common and non-specific, such as diabetes.

Risk indicators of  Parkinson’s disease

The lead author of the study, Dr. Abidemi Otaiku, of the University’s Centre for Human Brain Health. “Although it can be really beneficial to diagnose Parkinson’s disease early, there are very few risk indicators.”

“While we need to carry out additional study in this area, establishing the relevance of unpleasant dreams and nightmares might imply that people who suffer alterations to their dreams in old age – without any evident cause – should seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional,”

The researchers looked at data from 3,818 older males who had been living on their own for more than a decade. The people who took part in the study were given a number of surveys to fill out. One of these surveys asked about the quality of their sleep.

After the trial was over, the people who said they had disturbing dreams at least once a week were followed up to see if they were more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

There were 91 people with Parkinson’s disease identified among those participants. The researchers came to the conclusion that people who said they had nightmares often were more likely to get the condition. This is more than those who didn’t say they had nightmares.

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The initial five years of the research project

The researchers also found that people who said they had bad dreams during the first five years of the study had a chance of getting Parkinson’s disease that was more than three times the average.

According to the findings of the study, having disturbing dreams and nightmares might be a significant factor in the progression of Parkinson’s disease. This is characterized by tremors, stiffness and a general slowing down of movement. This means that people who often have trouble sleeping might want to see a doctor early. That is if they think they have Parkinson’s.


Electroencephalography (EEG) is going to be used by the researchers in their investigation into the probable biological causes of disturbing dreams and nightmares, as well as potential solutions to the problem.

They will also try to find out if their results are the same with bigger and more diverse groups of people.

In conclusion, they want to do more research on the possibility of connections existing between dreams and other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.

If nightmares may be connected to even more problems, this may strengthen the argument that it is important to discover a therapy that helps avoid having nightmares.

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