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Is Sleep Apnea Genetic Disorder

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Current Genetic Approaches And Their Limitations

Pleiotropic Genetic Effects Influencing Sleep and Neurological Disorders

Two general approaches in study design have been used to explore the genetic components of human disease: linkage studies and association studies.

Linkage studies have been utilised mainly in the study of single-gene disorders; they detect genetic markers throughout the genome, which are not necessarily functionally significant in terms of phenotypic effect and they use extended families. Genome-wide linkage studies utilise complex statistical techniques with strength of association of a genetic locus with a phenotypic marker reported as a logarithm of the odds score. In linkage analyses, a LOD score >3 is considered to indicate significant linkage . A score between 2 and 3 is considered to be suggestive of linkage and a score <2 is not suggestive of linkage . Genetic linkage and positional cloning methods have not been so successful in identifying genes implicated in polygenic disorders. One strategic approach that may enhance the success rate includes initial detection of linkage to a quantitative trait locus, refining the chromosome localisation or fine mapping and then positionally cloning the gene concerned, and detecting the genetic polymorphisms contributing to the trait phenotype .

Larks And Owls: The Genetics Of Circadian Rhythms

Humans are a diurnal species, meaning that we are generally active during the day and sleep at night. Some individuals feel more awake, alert, and able to do their best work in the morning. We typically refer to these people as “larks,” or morning-type individuals. Others have a hard time waking up or feeling alert in the morning and feel that they are most productive in the evening or night. We refer to these people as “owls,” or evening-type people.

Being a morning or a night person is influenced by how fast or slow our internal clocks tick.

What determines our desire to wake with the sun or, conversely, burn the midnight oil, is influenced by the same system that regulates the cycling of many bodily functions. Our internal biological clock resides in the brain and regulates the timing of functions such as appetite, hormone release, and metabolism. Of all the cycles controlled by the circadian system, perhaps the most obvious is the sleep-wake cyclewhen we go to sleep and when we wake up.

What It Is Its Risk Factors Its Health Impacts And How It Can Be Treated

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    Sleep apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the bodys supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.

    Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It can affect children and adults and people of both sexes, although it is more common in men.

    Because of sleep apneas prevalence and potential health impact, it is important for people to be aware of what sleep apnea is and to know its types, symptoms, causes, and treatments.

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    What Is The Treatment For Sleep Apnea In Children

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    • Adenotonsillectomy: Childhood sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids may be cured by surgically removing the tonsils and adenoids.
    • Myofunctional therapy: Mouth and throat exercises, also known as myofunctional therapy or oropharyngeal exercises, have been shown to improve obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in children.
    • Orthodontics: Rapid maxillary expansion and mandibular advancement devices are orthodontic approaches that use dental hardware to create more space in the mouth and improve the flow of air through the airway.
    • CPAP: Also called continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP is a machine that continuously pumps air into the airway. CPAP users wear a mask attached to a pump while they are sleeping. Sleeping with a CPAP mask can be a difficult adjustment for children and may require behavioral support.
    • Treatment of allergies and sinus inflammation: Medications, such as a steroid nasal spray, saline nasal rinses, and/or other allergy medications, may be an option for children with mild sleep apnea symptoms. These medications can reduce airway constriction and poor tongue posture caused by constantly breathing through the mouth. Allergy treatment is often done in conjunction with other treatment options.

    What Is The Difference Between Genetics And Heredity

    Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?

    Lets take a pause here to better understand genetics and heredity. When we talk about medical conditions being passed down, its common to use the two synonymously, but thats incorrect.

    You may already know from junior high biology that your bodys genes are made of deoxyribonucleic acid . If your body were a house, builders would use DNA as the prime material to build you. Your body is composed of over 20,000 genes, and 99% of them are the same in virtually everyone.

    The other 1%? Hereditymeaning something that is passed down from generations via genes and includes information such as hair and eye color and predispositions to certain medical conditions.

    While genes are something your body has, heredity is technically the right term to use when we talk about whether or not a trait your body possesses was handed down from your parents genes or if its something that your body developed over time.

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    The Osa Inheritance Factor In Obese Children

    The genetic predisposition and general cause for developing obstructive sleep apnea in children relies on a variety of different factorsboth anatomic and neuromuscular. Susceptibility to obstructive sleep apnea in children has proven extremely difficult and is still reliant on future studies and technological advancement. So far studies have shown that children can inherit their parents facial anatomy, such as large tonsils and;large overbite and chin, which are factors for developing OSA.

    Executive Functions: A Complex Construct

    On the other hand, the label of skills that come into play in situations and tasks in which the use of routine behaviors and skills is no longer sufficient for their success by addressing the set of mental processes aimed at development of adaptive cognitive-behavioral patterns in response to new and demanding environmental conditions .

    EFs are essential and basic for the following:

    learning new actions;

  • making the action plan and decision-making processes;

  • selecting the correct answer and inhibiting the wrong one;

  • correcting the errors;

  • requiring the variable combinations of actions for new behaviors;

  • conducting the complex activities;

  • constant monitoring of behavior and evaluating the result; and

  • having the ability to regulate and overcome the strong habitual responses.

  • Over the past 40 years, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology have paid particular attention to these skills, and despite the progress made in their study and description in the event of injury or developmental deficit, their multicomponent nature continues to make them difficult to analyze as well as a fully shared definition. The literature has provided different definitions and interpretations, and to date, there is still no unanimous agreement on the construct; different subdomains of executive functions are identified, which are the basis of other higher-order functions such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, understanding the behavior, and thinking of others.

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    Can All Hereditary Sleep Disorders Be Cured

    Genetic insomnia is often easier to cure than other hereditary conditions, because its influenced by external and environmental factors. Unfortunately, there are some parts of your genes you might not be able to overcome as easily.;

    Narcolepsy with cataplexy is one example of a sleeping disorder which may be influenced by genetics. There are medications available to assist with this condition, such as Sodium Oxybate, which helps to improve nighttime sleep and reduce daytime drowsiness. Unfortunately, theres no;cure for this condition.;

    Another hereditary sleep disorder is familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, which is categorized by waking up too early, or sleeping for too long during the night.;

    There are some treatments available for this, like light therapy, which could be helpful for some patients.;

    Fatal familial insomnia is the most severe form of genetic insomnia, and it has no cure. Currently,;;experts predict this condition affects around;1 in 1 million people;each year.;

    This genetic abnormality causes the death of neurons in the brain, and causes problems with the regulation of body temperature. Fatal familial insomnia occurs due to a mutation in the gene called PRNP, which harms the nervous system.

    Over time, the condition causes increasingly worsening brain damage. Although this condition is very serious, its also very rare.;

    With a little luck, youll never have to deal with this condition, or encounter anyone else who has.;

    What Are The Causes Of Sleep Apnea

    Terrifying genetic disease causes entire families to never sleep again | 60 Minutes Australia

    Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a persons airway becomes blocked during sleep. Multiple factors have been found to increase the risk of blockage and OSA:

    • Anatomical characteristics. The size and positioning of a persons neck, jaw, tongue, tonsils, and other tissue near the back of the throat can directly affect airflow.
    • Obesity. Being overweight is a leading cause of OSA and may be an underlying risk factor in up to 60% of cases. Obesity contributes to anatomical narrowing of the airway, and research has found that a 10% increase in weight can equate to a six-fold increase in OSA risk.

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    • Sleeping on your back. This sleeping position makes it easier for tissue to collapse around the airway and cause blockages.
    • Nasal congestion. People whose ability to breathe through the nose is reduced because of congestion are more likely to experience OSA.
    • Hormone abnormalities. Hormone conditions like hypothyroidism and acromegaly may increase the risk of OSA by causing swelling of tissue near the airway and/or contributing to a persons risk of obesity.

    In CSA, breathing is affected in a different way than in OSA. Instead of an obstruction causing breathing lapses, the problem arises in how the brain communicates with the muscles responsible for respiration. In particular, the brain stem fails to adequately perceive the levels of carbon dioxide in the body, leading to breathing that is slower and shallower than it should be.

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    Main Risk Factors: The Genetic Basis

    Several previous reports have described OSAS occurring in genetically related subjects. Strohl et al. first described a family with multiple male relatives suffering from the symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and night time restlessness, from which three brothers had repetitive apneas during sleep .

    Familial aggregation is generally explained by the fact that most risk factors involved in the pathophysiology of OSAS are, to a large extent, genetically determined.

    The prevalence of OSAS is typically higher among certain ethnic groups, such as African-Americans, in which it appears to present at a younger age and may also be more severe than European-Americans. Redline et al., in a case-control family study, described the distributions of sleep-disordered breathing in African-Americans and Caucasian. This study showed how African-Americans with SDB were younger than Caucasians with SDB and how, RDI level was higher in subjects < or = 25 years old in African-Americans . Racial variations may be due to obesity that is more prevalent and more epidemic in African-Americans than in European-Americans. Anatomic features typical of each race like the increased upper airway soft tissue in African-Americans seems to play also an important role.

    In a similar study, Baldwin et al., considered sleep related breathing disorders in Maori-Pacific Islanders and Europeans. Higher levels of severity parameters of OSAS were seen in both Maori and Pacific Islanders than Europeans .

    Two Types Of Sleep Apnea

    You may be aware that obesity is one of the primary causes of obstructive sleep apnea, but its important to know that its not the only one. Though the risk to obese people is four times higher, 40 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea are not obese. You can be a tall and thin person and have this sleep disorder. Other risk factors include:

    • A family history of sleep apnea
    • Narrowed airways
    • Neck circumference
    • Small jaw: recessed chin
    • Problems with memory, attention and concentration

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    What Natural Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea In Children

    The following natural treatments may help reduce obstructive sleep apnea in children. A childs healthcare provider will be in the best position to discuss the risks and benefits of the natural treatment listed below:

    • Weight loss: In children with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, weight loss can alleviate symptoms. A pediatrician can assist with healthy diet and exercise planning. A dietician or nutritionist can also help create a weight loss plan. However, weight loss can take time, and a child with severe symptoms may benefit from initiating treatment that provides relief more quickly.
    • Avoiding allergens: It may be helpful to avoid substancessuch as pollen and moldthat can cause allergic rhinitis . Allergic rhinitis leads to congestion and airway restriction, which contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.
    • Nasal breathing retraining: Nasal breathing retraining is a type of physical therapy that aims to strengthen the tongue and surrounding muscles to help a child breathe effectively at night. It may help reduce symptoms, but data is limited.
    • Positional therapy: Positional therapy involves training a person to sleep in a different position. It may be used in children whose sleep apnea occurs only when they sleep on their back. Elevating the head of the bed can also help alleviate sleep apnea. However, limited information is available about the effectiveness of positional therapy in children.

    Understanding Your Sleep Genes

    Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?

    Genetic insomnia is a real thing, but your parents having insomnia isnt a guarantee youll also suffer. There are various genes in your body that can influence parts of your life.;

    Your gene expression is what dictates whether youll really notice the impact of those genes or not. If youre concerned about your sleep genes, you could consider looking into genetic testing.;

    Many of the genetic testing kits on the market today can test for the genes that make you more predisposed to insomnia.;

    However, you may find it more helpful to speak to people in your family who have already experienced this problem. Find out how theyve handled their sleep issues over the years, and try improving your own sleep hygiene.;

    If youre concerned about your sleep problems, then you should also book an appointment with a doctor. Remember, insomnia is just a symptom of an underlying problem most of the time.;

    Speaking to your doctor will make it easier for you to come up with a treatment strategy that addresses the root of the issue, so you can enjoy a better quality of sleep.

    Siestio. Sleep matters.

    General advice disclaimerThis article contains general tips and advice. However, no diet or exercise program should be started without consulting your physician or other industry professional first. For more information read our full disclaimer;here.

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    Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary Know Your Risk Factors

      Each person is unique in their traits, characteristics, body shape, posture, and facial structure. You inherit half of your genes from your mother and the other half from your father. The genetic makeup of every individual is full of instructions covering every aspect of your physical shape, structure, along with our vulnerabilities to certain diseases.

      Throughout your life, you may find yourself at risk for a different set of conditions than the person sitting next to you, based on the genetics passed down from one generation to the next. Sleep apnea is no different. Some of us are more prone to developing certain sleep apnea risk factors than others, and the risk factors can be what ultimately causes sleep apnea.

      Sleep apnea can be hereditary though not always. Thats because there are many factors that influence whether or not a person is likely to develop sleep apnea and some of them are made up of things decided by family history.

      For example, some people are born with a more naturally narrow airway than others or with excess tissues due to nothing other than family history. When combined, it can create the right conditions for sleep apnea to develop within your genealogic tree.

      How Common Is Sleep Apnea

      Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect between 2-9% of adults in the United States, but many cases are believed to go undiagnosed, which fits with studies that have found considerably higher rates of OSA. Precise prevalence is hard to determine because studies have used different criteria for diagnosing the condition. A consistent finding, though, is that OSA affects men more than women. It can occur in people of any age but is more common in older adults.

      Central sleep apnea has been found to affect around .9% of adults over the age of 40. It is found much more frequently in men than in women.

      As this data demonstrates, OSA is much more common than CSA. For this reason, when people talk about sleep apnea, they are generally referring to OSA.

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      Recent Research Confirms Link Between Sleep Apnea And Genetics

      Researchers bring proof of the link between sleep apnea and genetic components through various studies conducted on the same. The researchers say that this link is quite stronger than we think to cause serious sleep disorders, especially apnea.;

      Even Though there are many factors that can lead someone to the condition of sleep apnea, some of the most common reasons can be connected with genetics or hereditary. As per the reports, having a family history of serious conditions should be discussed with physicians when someone seeks proper treatment for sleep apnea. And those conditions can be anything like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or endocrine or metabolic disorders.;

      Genetics Heredity And Other Apneas

      What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? | Sleep Apnea: Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment

      There are three types of sleep apneas. Now that you know about the most common one, OSA, lets have a look at the other two: Central Sleep Apnea and Mixed or Complex Sleep Apnea. The latter is sometimes referred to as CompSA to not confuse it with CSA.

      With a condition like CSA or CompSA, theres something other than a blocked airway to consider. At least some of the time, the brain isnt sending the signal to breathe. There could be any number of reasons for this including:

      • Cheyne-Stokes Breathing. With Cheyne-Stokes Breathing, over time breathing effort and intensity gradually decreases and eventually leads to a point where no breathing occurs. Cheyne-Stokes Breathing generally occurs among individuals who have congestive heart failure or stroke.
      • Opioid Treatments. Sometimes people undergoing opioid treatment experience CSA, as the opioids treating the disease have a side effect of seizing the rest of the body. Opioids can impact the brains ability to send a signal to the lungs to breathe, and the result is CSA.;
      • High Altitudes. Sometimes merely being at a high altitude can create a Cheyne-Stokes Breathing pattern, which can cause CSA.

      There have been no direct links found between heredity and CSA or CompSA, although there certainly are links between heredity and some of their underlying causes.

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