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Nightmares can be harbinger of serious illness

Nightmares can be harbinger of serious illness Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Scientists have discovered that frequent and regular nightmares can be a harbinger of a specific disease. People who experienced nightmares found out about the disease or exhibited clear symptoms a year later. Besides nightmares, patients may have other neurological and psychiatric symptoms, based on a study published in Clinical Medicine.

Researchers found that patients experienced nightmares a year before the onset of classic symptoms associated with lupus, such as joint pain and rashes. They had bad dreams where they were falling, trapped, attacked, or crushed by something.

According to the scientists, the results of this study are somewhat limited, and certain data were taken from surveys. However, they are still potentially useful for further research.

During the observations, scientists investigated neurological and psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, and sleep disorders in people with systemic lupus erythematosus. This disease causes inflammation and tissue damage in the body.

Nearly 700 patients with lupus were surveyed and their experiences with 29 neuropsychiatric symptoms were analyzed, as well as 400 clinicians regarding their knowledge of such symptoms in autoimmune diseases.

Almost a quarter of the patients indicated that bad dreams appeared shortly before or during the first symptoms of lupus.

Approximately one-third of the patients began experiencing nightmares long before any typical symptoms of lupus appeared.

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