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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Memory Loss

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Sleep Apneas Connection To Memory Loss

Snoring Sleep Apnea memory loss CPAP Dementia Alzheimer’s Footit Medical Springfield, Massachusetts

It is no secret that a good nights sleep recharges your mental and physical batteries. But time in dreamland is thought to be vital also to your brains health and its ability to learn and remember.

When youre asleep, your brain is hard at work processing information from the day and forming memories. But sleep-deprived brains are less able to process and store information.

And while sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can bring on other serious health issues including hypertension, obesity and diabetes, a new study links sleep apnea and Alzheimers disease, either as a factor in the development of Alzheimers or as a result of the diseases early stages.

The study, presented at the American Thoracic Societys 2013 International Conference, looked at sleep-disordered breathingor breathing that stops and starts several times during the night, as is the case with sleep apneaand risk factors for Alzheimers disease.

And although the researchers arent certain whether sleep apnea is a result or a symptom of Alzheimers, they are certain weight plays a role.

Seniors who are thin and have sleep apnea are more likely to have biomarkers”biological signsof an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimers. These signs indicate brain damage and decreased use of glucose in the brain, said study lead author Dr. Ricardo Osorio, a research assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine.

Mayo Clinic Study Shows Sleep Apnea May Be Tied To Increased Alzheimers Biomarker In Brain

ROCHESTER, Minn. People who stop breathing during sleep may have higher accumulations of the toxic protein tau, a biological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, in part of the brain that manages memory, navigation and perception of time. A preliminary Mayo Clinicstudy released Sunday, March 3, will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia May 410.

Recent evidence has supported an association between an increased risk for dementia and sleep disruption. That’s particularly true for obstructive sleep apnea, which is a potentially serious disorder where breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. However, it remains unclear what could be driving this association.

Using the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, researchers identified 288 people 65 and older who did not have dementia. Their bed partners were asked whether they noticed if their partners stopped breathing during sleep. Positron emission tomography brain scans of study participants looked for buildup of the toxic protein tau in the entorhinal cortex, which is the part of the brain that is deep behind the nose and susceptible to accumulating tau. The entorhinal cortex stores and retrieves information related to visual perception and when experiences happen. The dysfunctional tau protein forms tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, contributing to cognitive decline.

Covid And Sleep Apnea: How Osa Can Increase Your Risk is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Michael Breus, Ph.D The Sleep Doctor is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and one of only 168 psychologists to pass the Sleep Medical Specialty Board without going to medical school. Dr. Breus is a sought after lecturer and his knowledge is shared daily in major national media worldwide including Today, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and for fourteen years as the sleep expert on WebMD. Dr. Breus is the bestselling author of The Power of When, The Sleep Doctors Diet Plan and Good Night!

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Obesity And Insulin Resistance

OSA, hypertension, obesity, and insulin resistance share a complex relationship in which all four factors influence and exacerbate one another. predisposes people to OSA. Obesity also increases a persons risk of developing high blood pressure. Research suggests that when a person has both OSA and excess weight, the two conditions may affect one another in ways that impair cardiovascular health. For example, OSA and obesity both cause elevated levels of leptin in the blood. Leptin is a hormone that promotes hunger, which can further contribute to weight gain. Leptin also stresses the cardiovascular system and may promote the development of hypertension.

People with insulin resistance require higher and higher levels of the hormone insulin to be able to use a type of sugar in the blood called glucose for energy. Over time, insulin resistance can result in uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood and the development of diabetes. Obesity is a known cause of insulin resistance. Recent studies have shown that OSA is also a cause of insulin resistance, regardless of ones weight. High blood pressure is yet another risk factor for insulin resistance. Because insulin resistance is an activator of the sympathetic nervous system, it may cause or worsen high blood pressure as well.

What Happens When You Sleep

New sleep apnea treatment available at St. Johns Health

Scientists don’t know exactly how sleep enhances memory, but it appears to involve the brain’s hippocampus and neocortex — the part of the brain where long-term memories are stored. It is thought that during sleep, the hippocampus replays the events of the day for the neocortex, where it reviews and processes memories, helping them to last for the long term.

Researchers continue to investigate the stages of sleep involved in making certain types of memories. Some studies have shown that certain kinds of memories become stable during rapid eye movement sleep — the time when you dream. Other studies have found that some types of memories are most often secured during slow-wave, deep sleep. Scientists are getting closer to understanding what sleep does to our brain, but there are still many questions to be answered.

Whatâs certain is that sleep is a biological necessity — we need it to survive. Unfortunately, in this day and age, few of us are able to get the sleep we need to function our best. Experts recommend adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Although this may not be attainable every night, it should be the goal.

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The Connection Between Sleep And Alzheimer’s

Some studies have shown an association between sleep deprivation and increased levels of two Alzheimers disease-related proteins in the brain . In addition, difficulty sleeping is common in people with Alzheimer’s disease. There may be a bidirectional relationship between Alzheimers disease and the quality and duration of sleep, but more research is needed.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Memory Loss

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that interrupts breathing while you sleep. Those who have the condition may experience shallow breathing or stop breathing altogether for brief periods during the night. If left untreated, the disorder can lead to heart attack and stroke, but what is the connection between sleep apnea and memory loss?

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Defeat Sleep Apnea Today

Snoring, sore throats, and memory problems are some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms. The longer this condition goes untreated, the more severe the effects can be on your heart and your brain. Dont risk memory loss or damage to your brain. Get help with your sleep apnea symptoms and stop snoring New York nights away!

At Sleep MD NYC, we can help you identify the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and provide the best treatment solution possible. Get in touch with us today, and dont let another sleepless night go by.

Thoughts On 5 Ways Sleep Apnea Can Cause Gastrointestinal Problems

Sleep, Your Brain and Memory Loss
  • Adam

    You forgot Gastroparesis? Gastroenterologists never think to check for OSA for some reason. I asked my friend who is a ped GI about it and he said I wouldnt understand, mumbling something about ENTs always falsely diagnosing stuff. But most cases of Gastroparesis are actually idiopathic and I wonder whether most of those are actually undiagnosed OSA. It was pretty miserable for me when I had it and CPAP did eventually cure the condition. Which was good because the drugs I was on were pretty nasty in comparison.

  • steersbylitning

    I have had GERD for years, and IBS, too. Medication took care of the IBS, and pantoprazole the GERD. CPAP/BiPap has not made any difference in this problem so far as I can tell. I have not tried going off medication.

  • Adam,

    Thanks for mentioning gastroparesis. This is something thats more commonly associated with diabetes, but it can also be placed broadly under the IBS category. Good sleep helps your digestive system in general. Glad to hear that your gastroparesis got better on CPAP.

  • are you familiar with the Nightlase protocol .Non-surgical laser therapy to reduce upper airway collapse, convert and stimulate new collagen formation to restore tone to lax tissues.

  • zing

    Dr.Steven Park: Can you tell us what kind of surgery Lorraine has done? Is it especially suitable for someone who is thin and has gastrointestinal conditions ?

  • Philippa Swart
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    Increased Drowsiness During The Day

    So far as it deteriorates the conditions of recovery of a sleeper, sleep apnea is also detectable by the inconveniences it causes during the day.

    If you wake up already tired, if you are particularly irritable during the day, if you feel morose or even depressed, if you suffer from memory loss, if you suffer from repeated migraines, or if you sleep for a long time during the day and you fall asleep without realizing it, including while driving, you should consult a doctor.

    In the same way, parents who notice that their child is not focused on his or her school results are at half-mast, should not delay in going to see a doctor.

    Dentists can also be a valuable ally in making an initial diagnosis. As they are perfectly capable of detecting certain anatomical problems related to the disease. We should therefore talk to them about our sleep problems if we suspect that we suffer from sleep apnea.

    Risk Of Publication Bias

    Funnel plots were constructed for each domain to investigate the presence of publication bias. On visual inspection, the funnel plots appeared symmetrical, suggesting no bias was present. Publication bias was further investigated using statistical analysis. Eggers test for asymmetry was significant only for verbal recognition . However, Rosenthals Fail-safe N revealed 114 studies with null results would be required to generate a nonsignificant overall effect in this domain. This indicates it is unlikely that the true difference between individuals with OSA and healthy controls on verbal recognition tasks is zero. Further, Duval and Tweedies Trim and Fill procedure was used to determine the best estimate of an unbiased overall effect size. However, the overall effect size was unchanged, suggesting the original effect size was unbiased.

    Inspection of the norm-referenced funnel plot suggested there was no publication bias present in the domains. Further inspection of the domains showed Eggers test was significant for visuo-spatial delayed recall . As this domain did not yield a significant effect size, the Fail-safe N was not applicable. The Trim and Fill method identified the best effect size as very similar to the original, suggesting the original effect size was unbiased.

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    How Does Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure

    Related Reading

    Each time a person with OSA experiences airway collapse and briefly stops breathing during sleep, their sympathetic nervous system becomes activated and blood pressure rapidly spikes when they resume breathing. Sometimes, this sequence of pausing and resuming breathing can cause a person to wake from sleep. When a person wakes up after an OSA event, activation of the sympathetic nervous system and blood pressure levels escalate to an even greater degree.

    Additionally, when sleep is disrupted by OSA symptoms, the body releases sympathetic nervous system hormones called into the blood. Catecholamines are stress hormones that are majorly released by the adrenal glands. Examples of catecholamines include dopamine and epinephrine . High levels of catecholamines in the blood cause high blood pressure.

    Should I Talk To My Doctor About Sleep Apnea

    Does Sleep Apnea Cause Memory Loss  Dangerous ...

    If you have high blood pressure and are concerned about whether you might also have sleep apnea, speak with a doctor. Diagnosis is the first step to accessing effective treatments for OSA that may improve your sleep and blood pressure. Consider whether any of the apply to you:

    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Difficulty with attention and memory
    • Headaches in the morning
    • Dry mouth when waking up
    • Irritability, anxiety, or depression

    Sleep apnea is often not recognized by the affected individual. In many cases, a bed partner notices nighttime symptoms of OSA, which prompts a visit to the doctor. If you share a bedroom or home with someone else, ask if they have noticed you exhibiting any of these signs while you are sleeping:

    • Loud snoring
    • Choking or gasping during sleep
    • Pauses in breathing during sleep

    Experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea, but it is a good reason to bring up sleep with your doctor.

    • Was this article helpful?

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes numerous lapses in breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea . OSA is marked by episodes of airway collapse, which blocks airflow into the lungs and often causes and gasping during sleep. In CSA, breathing lapses occur because of a lack of communication between the brain and the muscles involved in breathing.

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    Sleep Apnea And Dementia

    James M. Ellison, MD, MPH

    Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation, ChristianaCare

    • Expert Advice

    Learn more about a sleep-related condition that can increase the risk of developing dementia, heart attack, and stroke.

    It took a fender bender to bring Bill* to his primary care clinician for evaluation. Maybe I snoozed! I woke up on the embankment and Im lucky nobody was hurt. In addition to driving difficulties, Bill also described increasing forgetfulness, fatigue, and confusion over the past year. Despite his young age of 65, Bills primary care physician referred him to the Memory Clinic, where additional history was obtained. Bill reported that his mood was low, his weight was increasing, his blood pressure was out of control, and he was constantly dragging. He usually couldnt get through the day without sneaking a nap. He and his wife agreed that he was spending plenty of time in bed each night. Bills wife admitted that she sometimes would move to the living room recliner because of Bills loud snoring and gasping.

    *The name and details were changed to protect privacy.

    Replies To This Discussion

    Permalink Reply by RockRpsgt on December 1, 2009 at 12:11am
    Lack of sleep and oxygen is going to cause problems to the thought process. You have to look at the body like an organic machine or computer. Sleep is the reboot. Bad reboot=bad performance.
      Permalink Reply by Lawrence Lane on December 1, 2009 at 1:50am
      In my case, memory loss due to apnea led to taking early retirement. However, I did not know the cause of the loss until after I was diagnosed and started treatment.My memory has improved greatly with treatment for apnea and type 2 diabetes and a host of other ailments related to the OSA.Sleep is what I needed – for years. I pray my recovery continues, though I am resigned to the idea that I may never be completely restored as I have had OSA for 40 + years.
        Permalink Reply by Lawrence Lane on December 1, 2009 at 11:33am
        Hey, Dave. It sounds like you have really gotten into the diet of great, healthy seafood. I hope that your therapy is as beneficial to you as mine has been for me.One last point: Isn’t doing SOMETHING about it better than sitting in the dark???
          Permalink Reply by Steph Serrano on December 3, 2009 at 8:02am
          I haven’t experienced any memory problems yet but probably I am in an early phase of apnea. I hope that the treatment will work and I won’t get any further problems like memory loss or nocturia. A few days ago I didn’t even know that sleep apnea can cause such severe problems.

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          The First Step Is To Get Tested For Sleep Apnea

          If you have OSA symptoms and feel that your sleep is not restful, its important to talk to your doctor about it.

          Apnée Santé offers simple, fast and effective home testing. You can also contact us for a free evaluation to see if sleep testing is right for you.

          Heres a checklist to review with your doctor for signs of sleep apnea.

          • Loud snoring
          • Occasionally waking up during the night feeling that youre choking or gasping
          • Restless sleep
          • Having a sore or dry throat in the morning
          • Having a headache in the morning
          • Sleepiness, low energy or fatigue during the day
          • Feeling sleepy behind the wheel
          • Weight gain
          • Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex

          Sleep Apnea And Dementia Risk

          Memory Loss and Concentrating Issues

          Several researchers have studied sleep apnea to learn if, and how, it may be connected to brain functioning, memory, and risk of dementia.

          In one scientific review, researchers looked at several of the prior studies that had been conducted on sleep apnea and dementia and found a strong connection between the two factors. Specifically, people who had Alzheimer’s disease were five times more likely than those without Alzheimer’s to also have sleep apnea. Additionally, they found that approximately half of the studies’ participants who had been diagnosed with dementia had experienced sleep apnea at some time after their diagnosis.

          A different study published in the journal Neurology and conducted at the New York University School of Medicine outlines research conducted with more than 2000 participants. After reviewing the sleeping patterns and cognitive functioning of these participants, the researchers reached the following conclusions:

          A third study found that sleep apnea was correlated with a decrease in hippocampal volume and increases in white matter lesions in the brainchanges that often occur with cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.

          Researchers in a fifth study that reviewed over 400 female participants found that women with sleep apnea had a higher likelihood of cognitive problems, including dementia.

          Also Check: Oxygen Desaturation During Sleep

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