REM sleep dis­or­der linked to men­tal ill­ness

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page -

A NEW STUDY in­di­cates that REM sleep be­hav­iour dis­or­der (RBD), which of­ten leads suf­fer­ers to kick and yell while asleep, may be linked to var­i­ous forms of men­tal ill­ness. Dur­ing nor­mal REM sleep, the brain sends sig­nals to the body’s mus­cles to pre­vent them from mov­ing. How­ever, in peo­ple with RBD these sig­nals are dis­rupted. As a re­sult, in the grip of ag­i­tated dreams, suf­fer­ers may shout, punch and kick dur­ing their sleep to the point where they risk in­jur­ing them­selves or any­one sleep­ing next to them. For this study, pub­lished by the Amer­i­can Acad

emy of Neu­rol­ogy, re­searchers sur­veyed 30,097 peo­ple in Canada with an av­er­age age of 63. Their re­sponses to a life­style ques­tion­naire en­abled the re­searchers to iden­tify 958 peo­ple, or 3.2 per cent of the ini­tial group, who were pos­si­ble RBD suf­fer­ers. Anal­y­sis of the med­i­cal records of this sub­group showed that peo­ple with RBD were 2.5 times more likely to take anti-de­pres­sants, twice as likely to suf­fer from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, and 2.5 times more likely to suf­fer from men­tal ill­ness. The re­searchers also found that men were twice as likely to suf­fer from RBD. The study also re­vealed that RBD suf­fer­ers were 25 per cent more likely to drink al­co­hol oc­ca­sion­ally or reg­u­larly than non-suf­fer­ers. The re­search team noted that their study does not prove that these fac­tors cause RBO, but only es­tab­lishes a link.

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