Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sleep Apnea Linked to Memory Loss

If you’re frequently tired and you frequently forget things, it might not just be lack of sleep catching up to you. HealthDay recently reported that patients with advanced sleep apnea demonstrate difficulties with spatial memory skills.

Spatial memory refers to the ability to recall the layout of an environment and the orientation of objects therein. This type of memory makes it possible to remember everything from where you left your wallet in the house to the route you take to drive across town.

Researchers at NYU recently discovered that sleep apnea patients who stop breathing during the deep stage of sleep called the REM cycle tend to suffer disruption to spatial memory, making it more difficult to remember things like the location of a parking space. Given their findings, the authors of the study encouraged doctors to check for signs of memory loss in patients who have sleep apnea.

If you find yourself forgetting things more and more, speak to a doctor as soon as possible. A memory loss screening could involve several different tests, including: 

  • An assessment of the patient’s medical history
  • A physical exam
  • Tests of neurological abilities
  • Questionnaires to gauge memory and other mental faculties
A sleep study is necessary to determine whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. Apnea can compromise the health and function of many parts of the body, so diagnosis followed by treatment could restore many aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Please contact a sleep apnea physician in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for more information.

posted by Admin at 2:11 PM