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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Does Sleep Apnea Elevate Dementia Risk?

A study published in the journal Neurology indicates that poor quality rest and low blood oxygen level during sleep could increase the likelihood of diminished mental faculties in older men. Though this research doesn’t establish a causal relationship between sleep apnea and dementia, patients with sleep and breathing disorders could be more at risk of experiencing negative effects on the brain.

Researchers found that the brains of subjects who had sleep apnea showed evidence of atrophied tissue and abnormalities called microinfarcts. These irregularities in the brain are more common in people who develop dementia than those who don’t have the condition.

Dementia is a series of symptoms most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with dementia suffer a severe deterioration of mental capabilities including: 

·         Memory
·         Motor skills
·         Organizational abilities
·         Clear and accurate speech
·         Reasoning and problem solving
·         Navigation – dementia patients can get lost even in very familiar places

Patients who suffer dementia also experience behavioral changes. The decline in mental clarity can lead to emotional outbursts, sudden mood swings, and irritability.

Obviously, dementia is a sign of a major health issue. Sleep apnea is also a dangerous condition because of the impact gaps in breathing can have on multiple systems in the body, including the brain.

If you suspect you or a family member is suffering from sleep apnea, please contact a local specialist or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

posted by Admin at 8:00 AM