Treating Sleep Apnea May Ward off Memory Decline

Breathing problems during sleep may be linked to early mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. But treating apnea with a continuous positive airway pressure machine can significantly delay the onset of cognitive problems.

In a group of 2,470 people, average age 73, researchers gathered information on the incidence of sleep apnea, a breathing disorder marked by interrupted breathing and snoring, and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

After adjusting for a range of variables, they found that people with disordered breathing during sleep became cognitively impaired an average of about 10 years sooner than those without the disorder.

But compared with those whose sleep disorder was untreated, those using C.P.A.P. machines delayed the appearance of cognitive impairment by an average of 10 years – making their age of onset almost identical to those who had no sleep disorder at all.

The lead author, Dr. Ricardo S. Osorio, a research professor of psychiatry at New York University, said the analysis, published online in Neurology, is an observational study that does not prove cause and effect.

“But,” he added, “we need to increase the awareness that sleep disorders can increase the risk for cognitive impairment and possibly for Alzheimer’s. Whether treating sleep disorders truly slows the decline is still not known, but there is some evidence that it might.”

submitted by Rhnee Mohan, PV Sleep Well

(originally published By Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, April 15, 2015)

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3 Reviews on “Treating Sleep Apnea May Ward off Memory Decline”

  1. :

    Are there clinics in the Jaltema area ? I have a CPAP machine and always worry about repairs should it need any while we are there.

    1. :

      Mike, PV Sleep Well is likely the only business in the area, but it's only an hour away and they are great to work with.

      1. :

        Thanks , I'll keep that name for future. My machine quit when we were at Rio in PVC longest week of my life lol

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