Sleep Apnea May Be The Cause of Your Memory Loss

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Transitioning back into work and school mode is always challenging after the summer break. Did you know that your mental fogginess might not be associated with your alarm clock? A recent study published by the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society found that people with untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) experienced higher rates of memory impairment and autobiographical memory impairment when compared to healthy individuals. 

The study sample consisted of 44 adults with untreated OSA and 44 healthy adults; it compared the two groups’ ability to recall different facets of their autobiographical memory, ie. specific life events from their childhood, early adult life, and recent life. The results of this experiment showed that in the group with OSA, a whopping 52.3% of people had difficulty remembering the details of their significant life events.

This demonstrates that OSA may impair the brain’s ability to encode, store, and retrieve autobiographical memories. In other words, it affects your ability to recall precious memories such as the places you’ve traveled to, your best friend’s birthday, or the first house you grew up in. Poorer memory recall results were also found to be linked to a significantly higher risk of developing persistent depression.

So what can you do about this? Investigators of this study state that the next step is to determine if treating OSA can counter the damage or impairments caused to memory. There are a variety of options available and speaking with a registered healthcare professional will help determine which treatment option is right for you. If you or a loved one has experienced memory loss or has a hard time remembering that grocery shopping list, stop into one of our local Sleep Apnea clinics to learn more about the relationship between your sleep and memory loss

Snore MD is proud to provide an unparalleled level of service to our clients in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. For more information, stop by one of our conveniently located clinics across Western Canada and speak with an expert Dream Team member today. 


About the Author:

Ally Robertson is an experienced Registered Respiratory Therapist and Sleep Clinician with SnoreMD. Her transition from critical care to community based medicine was spurred by a desire to help make healthcare more accessible for Canadians. She is always inspired by people and organizations who invest in the health and wellbeing of others.



Sleep Apnea May Be The Cause of Your Memory Loss