Neurologists at the University of Birmingham have found that bad dreams in childhood are associated with an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in old age. The study was published in The Lancet .
Children who regularly have bad dreams and nightmares between the ages of 7 and 11 may be almost twice as likely to develop cognitive impairment by age 50. In addition, by the age of 50, they may also have a seven times higher (640%) risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The scientists used data from a study that tracked the lives of children born in 1958. When the children were 7 and 11 years old, their mothers answered a series of questions about their health, including whether they had had bad dreams in the previous three months.
“We received data on 7,000 children, who were divided into three groups. The first one never had nightmares, the second one had occasional nightmares, and the third one all the time. The results were obvious. The more often children had bad dreams, the more likely they were to develop neurodegenerative diseases.
In future work, the team hopes to confirm the data of the study, as well as to establish the exact reasons for this dependence.