Sleeping Disorder May Be a Sign of Brain Disease

June 21, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. alert ˈlɜrt/ (adj.) – being aware of what is going on
Example: You should be alert and go to the hospital when your health condition changes.

2. develop /dɪˈvɛləp/ (v.) – to grow or become more advanced
Example: The patient developed a lung disease because of smoking.

3. injure /ˈɪnʒər/ (v.) – to hurt someone, often physically
Example: A nurse must be careful not to injure patients when performing injection.

4. predictor /prɪˈdɪkər/ (n.) – something that tells or shows what will happen in the future
Example: Dizziness and frequent vomiting are predictors of pregnancy to women.

5. act out /ækt aʊt/ (v. phrase) – to demonstrate or perform something
Example: She chose not to act out her annoyance towards her husband.


Read the text below.
A sleeping disorder that causes people to act out their dreams would indicate brain disease in the future, study says.
Researchers led by Associate Professor John Peever of the University of Toronto found that rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (or REMBD) is the most accurate predictor of brain diseases. These brain diseases include Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Peever, 80 to 90 percent of people experiencing REMBD may develop neurodegeneration, which causes brain diseases. Neurodegeneration first affects the areas of the brain that control sleep. Soon after, it affects areas concerned with brain diseases. Most of the people diagnosed with REMBD are older males, especially those who are over 50 years old.
REMBD takes place during the fifth stage of sleep – the rapid eye movement (REM) stage. This causes people to act out their dreams, which sometimes results in physically injuring themselves or the ones beside them. On the other hand, those with healthy brains have their muscles paralyzed temporarily during sleep. This instance prevents people from acting out their dreams.
It is easy to know when one has REMBD. Those who are diagnosed with this disorder does activities such as kicking, hitting, yelling, or jumping out of bed even when asleep.
The study, which was published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience, suggests that people who experience REMBD must be alert and be open to get treatment for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and other brain diseases.
Also, the researchers advised the clinicians to recognize REMBD as a sign of brain disease. Doing so will help the patients avoid developing more severe brain diseases.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you usually get a good night sleep? Why or why not?
·         How is this research helpful for people? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is important for people to be aware of such disorders? Why or why not?
·         How can awareness on REMBD or other disorders be promoted?

June 21, 2014