There is obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partially blocked airway and may be more commonly associated with snoring. However, central sleep apnea is more of a problem with the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to tell the body to breathe. In either case, it's best to get treatment for your sleep apnea as untreated sleep apnea is strongly correlated with dementia.greengirl35 wrote:My husband doesn't really get the sleep apnea thing either as I don't snore at all, but nevertheless I'm willing to try it.
Can sleep apnea cause Alzheimer's disease?
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Nov;47:656-69.
- Both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are increasing health concerns. The objective of this study is to review systematically the effects of OSA on the development of AD. The search was conducted in PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL, and followed by a manual search of references of published studies. Cross-sectional, cohorts, and randomized clinical trials were reviewed. Besides clinical studies, we also discuss neuroimaging data, experimental animal evidence, and molecular mechanisms. Although a causal relationship between OSA and AD is not yet established, OSA induces neurodegenerative changes as a result of two major contributing processes: sleep fragmentation and intermittent hypoxia. As such, inflammation and cellular stress are sufficient to impair cell-cell interactions, synaptic function, and neural circuitry, leading to a decline of cognitive behavior. Sustained OSA could promote cognitive dysfunction, overlapping with that in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Early treatment by positive airway pressure and other current standards of care should have a positive impact to alleviate structural and functional deterioration. With better understanding of the cellular and neurophysiological mechanisms by which OSA contributes to AD, we may identify novel molecular targets for intervention.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Associated With Early but Possibly Modifiable Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers Changes.
Sleep. 2017 May 1;40(5).
- Study Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder. The, literature lacks studies examining sleep, cognition, and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in OSA patients. Therefore, we first studied cognitive performances, polysomnographic sleep, and CSF β-amyloid42, tau proteins, and lactate levels in patients affected by subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) divided in three groups: OSA patients (showing an Apnea-Hypopnea Index [AHI] ≥15/hr), controls (showing an AHI < 15/hr), and patients with OSA treated by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Methods: We compared results among 25 OSA, 10 OSA-CPAP, and 15 controls who underwent a protocol counting neuropsychological testing in the morning, 48-hr polysomnography followed by CSF analysis.
Results: OSA patients showed lower CSF Aβ42 concentrations, higher CSF lactate levels, and higher t-tau/Aβ42 ratio compared to controls and OSA-CPAP patients. OSA patients also showed reduced sleep quality and continuity and lower performances at memory, intelligence, and executive tests than controls and OSA-CPAP patients. We found significant relationships among higher CSF tau proteins levels, sleep impairment, and increased CSF lactate levels in the OSA group. Moreover, lower CSF Aβ42 levels correlate with memory impairment and nocturnal oxygen saturation parameters in OSA patients.
Conclusions: We hypothesize that OSA reducing sleep quality and producing intermittent hypoxia lowers CSF Aβ42 levels, increases CSF lactate levels, and alters cognitive performances in SCI patients, thus inducing early AD clinical and neuropathological biomarkers changes. Notably, controls as well as OSA-CPAP SCI patients did not show clinical and biochemical AD markers. Therefore, OSA may induce early but possibly CPAP-modifiable AD biomarkers changes.
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