Alzheimer’s Disease and OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has a known relationship with a number of serious health conditions, which include heart disease, diabetes and stroke. While these relationships are important to be aware of, recent research sheds more light on a connection with Alzheimer’s disease.
Oftentimes, individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease have trouble sleeping, which is demonstrated by the number of times they might awaken during the night as well as the frequency in which they nod off during the day. Research conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied whether sleep issues could be a predictor of Alzheimer’s long before memory loss or other symptoms were apparent. The study involved 142 adults aged 45 and older and after a 2-week period, 32 people in the group had a certain molecule found in the brain’s spinal fluid. This molecule can lead to a buildup of plaque (beta-amyloid) that is known as the earliest identifier of Alzheimer’s disease. The individuals with this molecule were found to have the most difficulty sleeping. In addition, researchers concluded that because sleep apnea reduces the amount of oxygen going to the brain, it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease over time. Additional research is necessary to confirm whether or not people who have this molecule will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, find out whether or not sleep apnea might be contributing to his or her sleep disturbances. Contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.