If you have sleep problems, how do you know that these are related to your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep? The main characterics of REM sleep disorder is an abnormal behavior during REM sleep with sudden arms and legs movements and vocal sounds as a reaction to vivid dreams.

REM sleep problems are not innocent. They can be a hint for several brain diseases. A recent small study investigated whether the REM sleep behaviour disorder could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers observed low blood flow and flow disturbances in the small blood vessels in the brain in people with REM sleep disorder. These flow disturbances were seen in the cerebral cortex of the brain that plays a key role in a.o. language comprehension, visual processing and recognition. That is why a lower blood flow in this part of the brain can result in an impaired cognitive performance.

The researchers believe that the changes in the brain were caused by reduced neurotransmitters, affecting the ability of the nerves to control the blood flow in the brain. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the brain tissue that, in a long run, can cause symptoms related to Parkinson’s.

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Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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