Case Study: Sleep Disorder may lead to Dementia

By on Aug 30, 2010 in Health, Science Comments

As most of us know, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of Dementia; or the loss of mental skills that affects one’s daily life.

But according to a recent case study, sleep disorder known as rapid eye movement (REM) may also lead to Dementia. This was discussed by Dr. Michael Breus, who is a sleep expert and the author of “Beauty Sleep“.

The case study shows that 65 percent of people who experienced sleep behavior disorder (RBD) developed Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

In some cases, the disorder was diagnosed up to 50 years before the neurodegenerative condition developed.

By the way, Lewy bodies are named after Frederich Lewy, the doctor who first described them in 1912.

Dr. Lewy first found Lewy bodies in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, which is a condition best known for disrupting body movements.

Here are some interesting facts about sleep behavior disorder (RBD).

If a person suffers from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, thus allowing that person to “act out” his or her dreams.

There are a lot of dream-enacting behaviors such as talking, yelling, sitting, kicking, punching, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing. This means that the requirement for a restful sleep is not being satisfied.

However, RBD is usually seen in middle-aged to elderly people and more often in men.

On the final note, it is always best for us to have enough sleep.

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