Mar 21, 2019 | Updated: 04:58 PM EDT

Researchers Discovered A Brain Disorder That Act Outs Violence While Having Dreams

May 31, 2017 02:35 AM EDT

File photo of people sleeping

People have always wondered where do dreams exactly come from? A new research reveals that it comes from a group of cells in the brainstem responsible for dreaming sleep which is called the Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

But that is not the only thing the study has revealed. Researchers of this study also said that the study concludes the damage to those group of cells could lead to a sleeping disorder called REM Behavior Disorder (RBD).

In an article published by Live Science, RBD is a sleeping disorder that makes a person act out violent dreams. John Peever, a professor of cell and systems biology at the University of Toronto, said that their findings got far broader implications than just pinpointing the neurological source of dreams.

Previous studies related to dreams and brain disorders have shown that 80 percent of people with RBD has developed incurable brain diseases. The new research gave drug companies a specific group of cells in targeting therapies that would slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

"For some reason, the cells in the REM sleep area are the first to be sickened, and then the neurodegenerative disease spreads up into the brain and affects the other areas that cause disorders like Parkinson's disease," Peever said. In an article published in Medical News Today, a person cycles through light sleep then deep sleep then REM sleep several times. During the person's REM stage, neurons in the brain stem send signals to the brain's cerebral cortex, making it responsible for creating dreams.

Usually, a person who dreams do not move around much, although some twitch or talk during their sleep. In contrast, people with RBD usually have violent dreams and act them out during REM sleep. It results to injuring themselves and anyone who is sleeping right next to them.

This study on dreams and its connection to RBD was presented last May 29 at the 2017 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting in Montreal. Currently, the findings are yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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