Alzheimers Risk Increases with Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Breaking news out of New York this week. A study completed this year showed a marked relation between Alzheimers and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea).

Here is an excerpt from the study:

Dr. Andrew Varga, who specializes in sleep medicine and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said researchers failed to find a relationship between sleep apnea, amyloid beta levels, and cognition. This suggests that cognition “is dependent on additional factors,” said Varga, a co-author of the study.

Since the severity of participants’ sleep apnea was not a predictor of cognitive deterioration, the study suggested that the changes in sleep patterns and amyloid beta levels that researchers spotted were occurring before participants developed signs of Alzheimer’s.

This prompted the team to suggest that addressing sleep apnea in its early stages could reduce the number of amyloid beta deposits occurring in the brain and consequently delay cognitive impairment and dementia.

Altogether, the results support “the growing literature suggesting that OSA, cognitive decline” and Alzheimer’s are related, Osorio said. “If this is the case, then the potential benefit of developing better screening tools to diagnose OSA in the elderly who are often asymptomatic is enormous.”

Want to learn more? Review the study with a clinician? Snore MD is always here to provide education to our patients! Find your closest Snore MD sleep apnea clinic here.


About the author:

Michael Davis is Snore MD's Director of Optimal Patient Care and community awareness. Driven by a passion for quality of everyday life, Michael became a Respiratory Therapist in 2009 with the goal of helping Canadians sleep better. With experience in critical care medicine, sleep medicine and pulmonary disorders, Michael leads a team of 15 skilled Sleep Clinicians and Respiratory Therapists to help thousands of British Columbians Sleep Better - Live Better. 

Alzheimers Risk Increases with Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea