Sleep Disorder Linked With Changes to Brain Structure Typical of Dementia

Sleep Disorder Linked With Changes to Brain Structure Typical of Dementia

Australian medical researchers have uncovered a link between the risk of developing dementia and whether or not a person has obstructive sleep apnea. This is both good and bad news, since it puts some people at higher risk for a cognitive disorder; but good news, since there are treatments that can reduce or eliminate the apnea symptoms.

Sleep apnea is when the body and brain cannot get enough oxygen while asleep. This typically happens when breathing is shallow or too inefficient to allow the body to exchange enough oxygen from the air into the blood. What normally happens is the body will rouse itself sufficiently to draw a deeper breath, which helps bolster blood oxygen levels. The main problem with sleep apnea has always been it interrupts efficient sleep, and especially REM sleep that allows the brain to get the kind of rest and recharge it needs. Now, however, these lowered blood oxygen levels characteristic of sleep apnea could create a permanent and long term problem in the form of dementia.

No known treatment yet exists for dementia, though research is ongoing around the world. Some research is focused on looking for risk factors. Particularly those risk factors that can be controlled, such as other mental disorders such as depression, or being overweight.

Key Points:

  • 1Study finds that OSA affects cognitive ability and may be a precursor to dementia.
  • 2Study is the first to prove a link between reduced thickness in the temporal lobes and cognitive decline.
  • 3Preventing and treating OSA can reduce the incidence of dementia.


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with changes to the structure of the brain that are also seen in the early stages of dementia, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Follow us

HealthStatus

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
Follow us

Latest posts by HealthStatus (see all)

Share

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *