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Screams and violent movements while sleeping could be signs of Parkinson's
Screaming while sleeping as an indication of an upcoming Parkinson's disease? At the European Neurological Congress (ENS) in Prague, experts will report on the latest findings from the field of Parkinson's research.
Violent movements or screams during sleep can herald an impending Parkinson's disease, explained Professor Claudio Bassetti, director and chief physician of the Bern University Clinic for Neurology, at the European Neurology Congress in Prague. The so-called Schenk syndrome, as the uncontrolled movements are referred to, could indicate Parkinson's neurological disease years in advance, Bassetti continues. In this way, the previously incurable disease can be recognized very early.
Impaired movement inhibition during sleep in Parkinson's patients As Prof. Bassetti explained, the muscles relax in healthy people during the REM sleep phase. They therefore do not physically express their dream experiences. This so-called physiological paralysis is disturbed in Schenk syndrome. The inhibition of movement in dream sleep has been lost, which is why those affected move, scream, kick or hit when dreaming, the expert emphasized. The impairment of movement inhibition is caused by a process in the brain, which is also typical for Parkinson's, according to Bassetti. According to the Bern neurologist, numerous Parkinson patients suffer from Schenk syndrome long before the onset of Parkinson's movement disorders at night. If these instructions were interpreted correctly, measures to delay the course of the disease could be initiated at an early stage and significant improvements in the quality of life could be achieved for those affected, Bassetti continues.
Parkinson's disease begins in the nose The Dresden neurology professor Heinz Reichmann explained on the previous day at the European Congress of Neurologists that Parkinson's disease begins in the nose and a simple smell test could already provide indications of an impending Parkinson's disease. In experiments with mice, the Dresden neurologist discovered evidence that the development of Parkinson's is first noticed in the nerve cells of the sense of smell and then spreads further from here. In the early stages of Parkinson's, a build-up of so-called Lewy bodies forms in the nose, which signals the onset of Parkinson's disease, says Reichmann. From the nerve cells of the nose, the disease travels cell by cell towards the stomach and from there via the vagus nerve to the brain, explained the President of the "European Neurological Society". According to Prof. Reichmann, the most important symptoms that otherwise indicate Parkinson's disease include constipation, double vision, impotence, feeling poor, urinary incontinence, diffuse pain, depression and dementia. Oily skin and excessive sweating can also be a sign of Parkinson's. (fp)
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