HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, PRESSETEXTE (Germany)
HAMBURG - Aggressive dreams and other unusual sleep-related activity may be an early warning sign that someone will develop Parkinson’s disease, according to a new German neurology study, the Hamburger Abendblatt reports.
At the annual convention of German neurologists this week in Hamburg, Prof. Wolfgang Oertel of the University of Marburg described patients with aggressive behavior in their sleep: kicks, blows, and screams. According to Oertel, the symptoms of aggression during sleep arise during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, usually in the second half of the night. Most of the patients with such symptoms are over 50, and 87.5 % are men.
“Someone who moves and talks while asleep has a 60 to 70% chance of getting Parkinson’s or a multiple system atrophy (MSA) within 10 to 30 years,” Oertel told Pressetext, a German news agency.
The patients, whose REMs are also abnormal, begin to have violent dreams where they feel they must defend themselves, often hurting themselves or the person they are sleeping with.
Oertel says that people with such dreams should go to a sleep or neurological center to be tested. There is no treatment as yet, but early detection greatly improves the prognosis for neurological diseases.