SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Results of a long-term study show that two out of 10 people that have an REM sleep behavior disorder that prevents them from sleeping deeply are likely to suffer from Parkinson´s disease or dementia.
Professor Yoon In-young’s team at the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Sleep Center observed 84 patients with an average age of 65 over a period of 10 years. They discovered that 21.2 percent (18 patients) ended up being diagnosed with either Parkinson´s disease or dementia.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a state in which a person is in a deep sleep, and their eyes move rapidly. Muscles are relaxed in this state, and many dream without any movement of the body.
However, if tension in the muscles increases, or extreme sleep disruptions such as violent behavior or swearing occur, it could be an illness. Usually, if these patterns appear among the elderly who are over 60, there is a high chance it could be REM sleep behavior disorder.
According to the results of the research, nine percent of the patients that were diagnosed with REM sleep behavior disorder were diagnosed with Parkinson´s disease or dementia three years later. As well, after six years, 21.2 percent (18 patients) were diagnosed with Parkinson´s disease or dementia.
Researchers noted that among the remaining 66 patients that were observed, 46 percent showed a continuous decline in cognitive functions such as memory and performance.
Professor Yoon emphasized the importance of finding the illness at an early stage. “REM sleep behavior disorder is a degenerative disease in which the cognitive functions decline continuously. Family members should have the patient diagnosed at an early stage and concentrate on minimizing the regression of the brain. Though the portion of REM sleep behavior disorder patients’ symptoms that worsen to Parkinson´s disease or dementia is lower than western countries, it is not a matter to be overlooked.”
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)