An estimated 1 in 10 kids and 1 in 50 adults sleepwalk, and researchers who have done a genome wide investigation have found that sleepwalking could be an inherited condition.
Dr Christina A. Gurnett and others from the Washington University School of Medicine department of neurology, examined thesleepwalking patterns of four generations of a family of 22; 9 of whom were sleepwalkers – 12 year old Hanna would even go out of the house during her nocturnal wanderings, her uncle would proceed to put on 12 pairs of socks while sleepwalking, others in the family had sustained injuries due to their sleepwalking habit.
According to Dr Gurnett, it is likely that several genes are involved in sleepwalking and which exactly have to be identified.
It is a brain molecule called neuropeptide Y (NPY) that is seen to be responsible for how a person perceives and responds to a stressful situation. This is also a predictor of mental illnesses such as depression and so on. Hence scientists are hopeful that this will be able to help prevent certain kinds of mental illnesses.