Bad Dreams Could Be an Early Warning Sign of Parkinson’s Disease

Having bad dreams can be scary enough, but now there is news that should make all of us a little bit more anxious after we wake up from nightmares.

A study in the journal eClinical Medicine from researchers at the University of Birmingham shows that older men who have a lot of bad dreams or nightmares are two times as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Abidemi Otaiku, the lead author of the study, says, “Although it can be really beneficial to diagnose Parkinson’s disease early, there are very few risk indicators and many of these require expensive hospital tests or are very common and non-specific, such as diabetes.”

The researchers studied data from more than 3,800 men in the U.S. aged 67 or older who had no Parkinson’s diagnosis at the beginning of the 12-year study. The men who reported having more than one bad dream per week were followed up with when the study ended to see if they had developed Parkinson’s during the time of the study.

91 men had developed the disease after 7 years of study and the researchers learned that the men with frequent bad dreams were more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who didn’t.

And men who had more bad dreams over the first 5 years of the study were three times as likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Dr. Otaiku says he now wants to open up the diversity of the subjects to include different ages and women to learn more about this connection.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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