New research has found a very strong link between a sleep disorder and a type of dementia called “dementia with Lewy bodies” (DLB) in men.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida found that individuals with the disorder called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) were a whopping five times more likely to have DLB. DLB is the second most common form of dementia.
While most of us are essentially paralyzed during REM sleep, the time while you’re sleeping that you dream, individuals with RBD are able to move, and often act out their dreams. This can result in violent episodes in which patients can kick and punch during REM sleep, resulting in harm to themselves and/or their bed partners.
Researchers say the association is so strong that RBD should be added to the list of features of DLB.
The findings of the study were presented recently at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 65th Annual Meeting.