Sleepwalking people have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease


  • Sleepwalking affects 1 in 20 adults.
  • Sleepwalking episodes often occur during the deep sleep phase, that is, 1 to 3 hours after you fall asleep.
  • A sleepwalking episode usually lasts between 5 and 30 minutes.

Sleepwalkers are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than others. According to new research from JAMA.

Parkinson’s disease has been the fastest growing neurodegenerative disease in terms of prevalence, disability and death worldwide since 1990. This disease manifests itself in the form of a movement disorder, but many other non-motor characteristics are frequently observed in patients. Meaning, “Identifying non-motor symptoms is essential to understanding the pathology”, Thus it addresses it, the researchers say in the introduction.

Sleep regulation and neurodegeneration

Based on an observation that Parkinson’s patients often suffer from sleep disturbances, they ask themselves: Is sleepwalking alone or associated with a behavioral disorder during REM sleep associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease?. To find answers, the sleep of 25,694 men was analyzed between January 2012 and June 2018. Conclusion: Sleepwalking and behavioral disturbance during REM sleep were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.

“This study indicates that sleep regulation may be related to the neurodegeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease,” The authors of the research concluded.

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